California Legislature Approves One of the Most Ambitious Renewable Energy Programs in the World

Renewable Energy Portfolio locks in state share of energy from renewables to 33 percent by 2020

Sacramento, CA (March 29, 2011) -- The California Assembly today approved on a bipartisan vote of 55 to 19 one of the most ambitious renewable energy programs in the world, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council and a coalition of labor, consumers, utilities and conservation organizations who supported the bill. The Renewable Portfolio Standard, or Senate Bill 1X 2, would codify increasing the share of renewable energy supplied by California electricity providers to 33 percent by 2020.

The California Senate also approved the RPS bill with a bipartisan vote of 26 to 11 in February, and today's State Assembly vote sends the bill to Governor Jerry Brown who has an ambitious clean energy agenda is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days. The new law will spur billions of dollars of investment in clean energy and infrastructure projects that help create jobs and diversify California's energy supply in a state where clean-tech is already the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Following is a statement by Peter Miller, senior scientist with the NRDC:

"Today, California legislators approved one of the most ambitious renewable energy programs in the world. As a result of the RPS program, renewable energy generation in California in 2020 will be roughly equal to total current U.S. renewable generation, and supply enough clean energy to power nearly 9 million homes.

"Voters made it clear last November that they want to move forward with a clean energy future by resoundingly defeating Proposition 23. Now a bipartisan group of California leaders are carrying through the will of the voters. Clean energy programs including the 33 percent RPS will generate over 500,000 new jobs over the coming years and result in billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy projects in California, contributing to the State's economic recovery. NRDC is proud to continue to work hand-in-hand with the broad No on Prop 23 coalition that re-launched its efforts to follow through on the voters' commitment to a clean energy future.

"While U.S. Congress stalls on America's clean energy future, California again leads the way in energy policy. This passage of this RPS legislation reinforces California commitment to building a diverse, clean and resilient energy portfolio that minimizes the impact of fossil fuel price spikes and enhances our energy independence and security."