Color California Greener

Shortly after climate talks disbanded in Paris last month, San Diego’s City Council voted to power its 372 square miles solely by renewables within 20 years. That would make San Diego the largest city in the United States to vote to go 100% renewable.

Although the effort began in 2013 with the development of a comprehensive renewables plan, its adoption was spearheaded by Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

In a statement, the mayor said: “We’ve done something remarkable, bringing business and environmental interests together in a bipartisan manner to support a cleaner community and a stronger economy. We’ve struck the right balance with this plan, and San Diegans can look forward to more clean technology, renewable energy and economic growth.”

California has a statewide goal of producing 50% of its power from renewables within 15 years and has aggressively moved toward solar and wind power, including mandating that a third of all electric power produced by utilities in the state by 2020 must come from renewables.

Solar Panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare System Command headquarters

Solar panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command headquarters in San Diego represent the Department of Defense’s goal of increasing renewable energy sources to 25% of all energy consumed by the year 2025.

The state’s three largest utilities currently produce about 23% of their power from renewables and are required to be at 25% by the end of this year. In a recent quarterly report to the state legislature, the three largest utilities estimated they will exceed 30% of power generated from renewables by the end of 2016.

The mix of renewables includes solar, wind, geothermal, biopower, hydroelectric and thermal solar. The three largest utilities in the state are reaching their mandated goals mostly through solar photovoltaic and wind power.

California recently turned down a request by utilities to buy back the power produced by homeowners from solar cell on their rooftops at wholesale instead of retail prices. At least for now, homeowners who invest in solar power are likely to see it pay for itself in a reasonable period of time.

To your health and wealth,

Stephen Petranek
for The Daily Reckoning

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