Monday, September 14, 2009

The end of a California session with some looming good news

© 2009 Joshua Stark

If the Governor will sign them, we will have some good news in California over renewable energy.

Heading to the Governor's desk:

Two bills (AB 64 & SB 14) that would require 33% renewable energy from electrical utilities by 2020;
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a bill (AB 920) that would force utilities to pay individuals for surplus solar energy created in their homes (right now, companies don't pay for much of the extra energy, but certainly charge folks for its use);

and a bill (SB 32) that would allow individuals to produce more energy in their homes for sale to utilities (right now, they are capped; this would raise the cap).

So, I'm a bit happier about this year, especially because of the last two bills. The first one will create some habitat pressures in the California desert, which I'm hoping will be alleviated by the other two bills as well as the force of the Endangered Species Act causing big changes in the way the Central Valley of California does business. I'm hoping, in particular, that the Central Valley will see that it's best chance for re-invention, renewal, and growth will be in 'farming' solar power, which will necessitate and aid better air quality, as well as create better paying and permanent jobs, and lessen their "need" for Delta water.

Also, the Governor has the chance to sign AB 1404, which caps the use of offsets in any carbon market California uses to 10% of total emissions. Offsets are things companies can buy instead of cutting their emissions, such as renewable energy credits or Amazon carbon sequesters (trees in a rainforest). This is great because offsets really get to be easy ways out, and over-complicate our attempts at actually cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

So, it's up to our Governor, and I'll leave it at that.

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