California law requires 33% of energy portfolio to be renewable by 2020

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new law that requires the state to use 33% renewable energy by the end of 2020. Calling for a substantial shift away from coal and natural gas, the Governor supports creating jobs through the use of new technology and renewable energy sources. Prior to this bill, the state mandate required 20% of all energy to come from renewables.

In a statement, the Governor said that the 33% benchmark was really just a starting point and that he would like to see the state go to 40% in the “near future.” The measure is one of the more aggressive in the country. Few states are working on establishing renewable benchmarks above 20%. “This bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving local air quality, promoting energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Brown in his signing message.

The Governor signed the bill at the opening of a new solar plant in Milpitas. The signing ceremony was attended by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who announced a tentative funding agreement for a solar project in the state that is expected to increase the availability of renewable energy. The agreement would fund a solar farm from SunPower and NRG Energy. The farm will be in San Luis Obispo County and has the potential to service 60,000 homes in the area.

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