California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new bill that hikes up the state's commitment to 33% renewable energy of overall use, up from 20%.
Bill "SBX1 2" revises some terms within the state's Renewable Energy Resources Program, signed as an executive order in 2009 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the bottom line: The new target for renewable energy usage by 2020 is fully one-third, up from 20%.
In a statement, the Governor said the increased threshold would stimulate investment in green technologies, create "tens of thousands of new jobs," and promote energy independence. But making 33% of the state's energy overall portfolio come from renewable sources -- the highest in the nation -- "is really just a starting point, a floor, not a ceiling," he said, suggesting that as prices drop and more RE sources come online, 40% "at reasonable cost is well within our grasp in the near future."
The measure, announced at a SunPower-Flextronics plant dedication, is supported within the renewables sector and by major power producer SoCal Edison, which is already close to the current 20% benchmark. But it's not without controversy; some suggest that residents' utility bills will spike greatly.
What do you think? Is this a significant stake-in-the-ground for renewable energy adoption, a catalyst for industry and jobs that paves the way for others to follow? Or is it a partisan paper tiger that will cause more financial problems than the ones it aims to solve: power generation/availability, environmental concerns, and eventually cost/W?