The state of California is often seen as a leader in the Green sector. This month, California Governor Jerry Brown introduced a mandate requiring 33 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), this mandate aims to define a clear path for the future of renewable energies in California and will apply to investor-owned utilities like Southern California Edison and municipal utilities like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate with Environment California, said, “California can power itself entirely on clean energy resources. Mandating that the state generate a third of its electricity from renewable energy is a big down payment toward that ultimate goal.”
Ideally, California’s increased renewable energy standards will boost alternative energy developments and will help solidify renewable energy’s role in today’s energy mix. Previous initiatives had only short-term goals and were not focused on how they could encourage renewable energy for the long term. This created inconsistencies and weakened regulatory stability.
In addition to providing a cleaner future, RPS hopes to stimulate job growth as new renewable energy facilities are built to address increased demand. Ranging from wind and solar to hydro developments, the energy industry has experienced a rise in alternative options. A new solar panel manufacturing facility in Milpitas, CA is estimated to generate 100 jobs.
California isn’t alone in trying to reduce its carbon footprint – a green energy future has become a popular Utopian ideal across the globe as the emphasis on sustainable energy grows. Worldwide, as safety incidents and dwindling traditional energy resources join to make other options more appealing, alternative energy sources are gaining notice.
A green energy future is within reach, but will not be achieved without regulatory consistency and a commitment by operators and regulators. To learn more about RPS, please visit the California Energy Commission’s website.
For more information on green energy initiatives in the United States, please see the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s portfolio of public renewable energy projects on its website here.