This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
California Mandates 20 Percent Renewable Power by 2017
California has committed to double its use of non-hydro renewable energy for electricity production within the next 15 years. Governor Gray Davis signed the state's new "renewable portfolio standard" (RPS) into law on September 12th. The state will require all retail sellers of electricity to increase their use of wind, geothermal, biomass, and solar power by 1 percent per year until they reach the required 20 percent. All electricity providers must achieve the 20 percent goal by 2017.
Governor Davis also signed a bill into law that will continue the state's funding for renewable energy projects and energy research and development for the next five years. See the governor's press release.
Although roughly one third of the U.S. states have RPS legislation in place, California's RPS law is arguably the strongest. Maine, for instance, requires that 30 percent of its electricity comes from renewable power sources, but the state includes hydropower in that definition. Maine already draws on hydropower for more than 25 percent of its electricity needs. See the table of "Rules, Regulations & Policies" on the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy Web site.