The California Air Resources has unanimously adopted regulations establishing a 33 percent renewable energy standard in the state by 2020. Adopted on September 23, 2010, the regulations will greatly expand the energy California will generate from wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources while keeping intact the current authorities of energy agencies and grid operators.
With this action, California is taking a major step forward in fulfilling AB 32, its farreaching climate change legislation, which applies to all entities that deliver electricity, including investor- and publicly owned utilities, as well as municipal utilities.
The regulations require phase-in requirements for interim energy targets starting with a 20-percent reduction from 2012 to 2014, and gradually concluding with a 33-percent target for 2020 and beyond. The targets will factor in the capabilities of smaller generators, imposing different regulations on small electricity operators by subjecting them only to recordkeeping and recording requirements if their sales are less than 200,000 megawatt-hours per year.
The new standard is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California by about the equivalent of 12 to 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2020.