Monday, December 7, 2009

Clean Energy

Welcome back to Ask Doug The Electrician!

In 2002, California established its Renewable Portfolio Standard Program, with the goal of increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the state's electricity mix to 20% by 2017. 2003 Integrated Energy Policy Report recommended accelerating that goal to 20% by 2010, and the 2004 Energy Report Update further recommended increasing the target to 33 percent by 2020. The state's Energy Action Plan supported this goal.

In 2006 under Senate Bill 107, California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) was created and codified the 20 percent goal. It is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires electric utilities and provicders to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources by at least 1% of their retail sales annually, until they reach 20% by 2010.

On November 17, 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08 requiring that California utilities reach the 33% renewables goal by 2020.

Solar energy—power from the sun—is free, inexhaustible, and can be used to directly generate heat, lighting, and electricity. All the energy stored in Earth's reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas is matched by the energy from just 20 days of sunshine. Solar photovoltaic technology is one of the fastest growing energy sources worldwide.

No single solution can meet our society's future energy needs. The answer lies instead in a family of diverse energy technologies that share a common thread: they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment. Renewable energy technologies tap into natural cycles and systems, turning the ever-present energy around us into usable forms.

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