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California Ponders How to Increase Renewable Energy Use

Chris Goldberg, flickr
 

Chris Goldberg, flickr

California Governor Jerry Brown wants half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. The governor set the goal in January’s inaugural address.  Today the California Energy Commission held a workshop to discuss how the state can meet it. 

Commissioner David Hochschild says there are no specifics yet. But he says progress is already being made.

"If you go back to 2008 we had 12 percent renewables in California. Today we’re at 25 percent renewables,” he says. "We’re fully contracted with the utilities to go to 33 percent renewables by 2020.”

 Hochschild says there is some debate about where the policy focus should be going forward.

 How much distributed generation, so this is roof-top solar, should be encouraged or expected, versus central-station renewables,” he says.

Central-station refers to power plants.

Hochschild says it’s also important to maintain the state’s reputation as a clean energy incubator so investors will continue to support projects.

 The renewable energy goal is one of three Brown set for 2030. Another calls for cutting in half the amount of petroleum used in cars and trucks. The third calls for doubling the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.

A bill making its way through the legislature would translate Brown’s goals into law.