Friday, July 22, 2005

Texas and California make progress on renewable energy goals

Legislation in Texas has doubled the state's commitment to renewable energy development and a report on California's efforts indicates progress on meet its 20 percent renewable portfolio standard years earlier than required.

In July 2005, the Texas Legislature boosted the renewable portfolio standard so that it will double the goal for the amount of wind power, solar power and other forms of renewable energy in the state's energy mix. The new goal calls for the state to obtain 5,880 MW, or about five percent of the state's electricity, from renewable energy by 2015. Of the total, 500 MW must come from renewable energy sources such as solar and biomass. The law sets a long-range target for the state to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The legislation also streamlines the ability of the Public Utility Commission to order construction of new transmission lines to meet the state's renewable goal.

In California, a June 2005 report for the Energy Commission indicates that the state's Energy Action Plan and the California Energy Commission's Integrated Energy Policy Report have expressed a state goal of accelerating the implementation of the RPS such that the 20-percent goal is met seven years early - by 2010. The Governor has endorsed this accelerated schedule and has set a goal of achieving a 33-percent renewable energy share by 2020 for the state as a whole.

Regulatory rules implementing major portions of the statute have been completed by the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. The state's three major investor-owned utilities, through interim renewable energy solicitations issued in 2002 and through bilateral contracts signed since that time, have increased their purchases of renewable energy.


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