Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
Providing global warming solutions for California and the West.
Join CEERT Email Newsletter
News & media
JUICE: Falling Off the Clean Energy Wagon
By Elizabeth McCarthy | June 9, 2020 | California Current
Updated June 11
Since the start of this century, California has been working to wean the electricity sector off addictive and harmful fossil-fueled generation. A homegrown 12-step recovery program has produced impressive strides. But key players, and Pacific Gas & Electric in particular, are allowed to fall off the wagon.
State energy regulators approved June 11 PG&E’s installation of diesel powered-backup systems for use during threatening fire conditions. Like those who return to binge drinking, this latest approval will harm more than the utility. The community impact is magnified during this pandemic, especially for those with compromised systems who cannot afford an extra dose of dangerous diesel exhaust. It also undermines California’s nearly two decades of work to slash carbon pollution from the electricity sector. And, it exacerbates the underlying condition that worsens wildfires: climate pollution.
California took its first big green energy step with the creation of a renewable portfolio standard for electric utilities in 2002. The legendary Sen. Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto) authored legislation mandating that 20% of a utility supply portfolio come from solar, wind and other qualifying alternative energy resources by 2017. Subsequently, the mandate was upped to 33%, then 50% and now 60% by 2030, under SB 100 passed in 2018. The remaining 40% of resources under SB 100 is expected to be supplied by large hydropower so California’s electricity is carbon free by 2045. In addition, former Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in September 2018 directing California’s economy attain carbon neutrality by 2045.
October 6, 2017 Regulators recommend that the state reject a Ventura County natural gas plant | LA Times - (article)
September 27, 2017 U.S. Climate Change Policy: Made in California | NY Times - (pdf)
September 16, 2017 Democrats kill bill to require all renewable energy in California by 2046 | The Sacramento Bee - (pdf)
September 11, 2017 Last-minute bills would set up regional grid | eenews - (pdf)
August 21, 2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE: In Calif., it's like planning for a cloudy day - (pdf)
July 17, 2017 California Legislature extends state's cap-and-trade program in rare bipartisan effort to address climate change | LA Times - (article)
July 12, 2017 Coal got knocked out in Calif. Now, gas is on the ropes | E&E News - (pdf)
July 11, 2017 Suniva trade case ruffles feathers in Korea | E&E News - (pdf)
July 11, 2017 AES and Siemens Partner to Create New Energy Storage Powerhouse | greentechmedia.co - (pdf)
July 11, 2017 AES and Siemens create joint-venture for energy storage | reuters - (pdf)