Bill would set statewide renewable energy goal of 50 percent by 2030
(SACRAMENTO) – State Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) has introduced AB 197, which would set a bold but achievable goal of utilizing a minimum of 50 percent renewable energy resources by 2030, which was highlighted by the Governor during his State of the State address earlier this month.
“This bill is about promoting clean energy production and creating jobs in my district as well as throughout the State. The state has already embarked on a path of increased renewable energy production and will need to rigorously evaluate cost effective ways to go further. AB 197 ensures that the necessary long term planning begins now”, said Assemblymember Garcia.
It is estimated that by 2020 California’s existing clean energy policies will have generated around 500,000 to 750,000 jobs from the combination of renewables, energy efficiency, and transmission infrastructure projects. Of this total, renewables are expected to account for about 93,000 to 163,000 of those jobs.1
Currently, renewable resources account for about 25 percent of electricity produced for California and the State is on track to meet or exceed its existing goal of 33 percent by 2020. The costs of renewables, even without subsidies, are approaching parity with the costs of new natural gas plants. Source: California Energy Commission
“California is at the Clean Energy crossroads. We are at a historic point where the declining cost of renewable energy has become cost competitive with the rising costs of building new fossil fuel energy-based power plants. Paired with our other clean energy policies, like energy efficiency, Californians will ultimately save money on their electric bills and on the public health costs associated with air pollution.”
For households, businesses, and public entities, California’s clean energy policies have improved efficiency while reducing electricity bills.2
In order to continue California’s transition to a clean energy economy and the further development of abundant wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy resources, AB 197 will:
- Require investor owned and publicly owned utilities to achieve a target of procuring 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.
- Require the Public Utilities Commission to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the various renewable energy resource types by, among other things, the grid reliability benefits associated with renewable energy resources that can quickly ramp up to offset the intermittency of solar and wind, as well as provide 24 hour base load electricity generation capacity, such as geothermal energy.
- Codify the Public Utility Commission’s “Loading Order”, strengthening the existing requirement that utilities meet their energy needs first, to the maximum extent feasible and in a cost-effective manner, through energy efficiency, demand response, renewable resources before procuring conventional generation resources.
- California’s Clean Energy Future. Preliminary Estimates of Job Creation. California’s Clean Energy Future website, 2014 [Online] Available at http://www.cacleanenergyfuture.org/documents/PreliminaryEstimatesofJobCreation.pdf [Accessed January 28, 2015] p.1
- Next 10. California Green Innovation Index, 6th edition. Print Copy, 2014. Available at: http://next10.org/2014-california-green-innovation-index [Accessed January 28, 2015] p.14
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.