ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s next steps to 100% clean energy
California has a 100% clean energy goal, but not the laws to get it there, critics say; Legislators went big on renewable energy and utility wildfire protections, but went home before kickstarting clean energy procurement or expanding the CAISO market.
Herman K. Trabish, Sept. 11, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: California lawmakers will consider over 20 energy-related bills in the new session, but wildfires and the PG&E bankruptcy will be centerstage.
California made history with Senate Bill 100, the 100% clean energy target signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, but decisions avoided by state lawmakers in the Summer 2018 legislative session left doubts about whether the state can meet its ambitious aims. While California is the nation's leader in solar deployment and in the top five wind energy states, renewable resources remain about 30% of its power mix. Bills to jumpstart renewables procurement expand the state's wholesale power market aimed to speed the state on its path to 100%, but both failed to pass in the legislative session that concluded last week.Without them, critics say the lofty goal may never become a reality.
SB 100 increased California's 50% renewables mandate to 60% by 2030 renewables and set the 100%-by-2045 target for zero-carbon electricity. It passed thanks to wide support from renewables and environmental advocates and from California’s budding customer choice movement. Assembly Bill 893 would have mandated new renewables by the mid-2020s, and Assembly Bill 813 would have merged California’s wholesale market with others across the West to expand renewables access. But much attention was turned away from them and focused on utility bankruptcies worsened by the wildfires that have ravaged the state for two years. Now, with the 100% goal in place, a number of stakeholders say AB 813 and AB 893 may be necessary if the state wants to make it to 100% without breaking the bank… click here for more