California, Still Leading

Flickr photo by janie.hernandez55

In an age of spineless US Senators, de-investments in education, and other critical causes being put on the chopping block, it’s satisfying to hear that some states are continuing to show leadership.

California has long been the leader in the states for renewable energy. For sixty years, the state has explored solar and wind energy, and numerous clean energy firms have gotten their start in the Golden State. Now California marks their next step into the 21st Century with the passing of the nation’s strongest Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Via Treehugger:

California’s new renewable energy standard, which requires that utilities purchase 33% clean energy by 2020, is now the highest in the nation. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the mandate into law today, once again reassuring the state’s trailblazing position on the clean energy front.

“With this vote,” American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode said in a statement, “public officials have decided to create thousands more jobs for Californians–jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, and other areas. This action is pro-business and pro-California.”

Indeed — the clean energy sector is one of the few that has continued to grow during the recession. The state was actually reportedly already on the verge of meeting the previous RES, which set 20% clean energy as the standard. Hoping to continue to spur investment in the industry, policymakers bumped up the bar once again.

Here’s the list of state renewable energy standards: (note, the following means that electric utilities in Arizona, for example, will have to get 15% their power from renewable sources)

Arizona: ………………15% by 2025
California: …………..33% by 2030
Colorado: ……………30% by 2020
Connecticut: ……….23% by 2020
D.C.: …………………….20% by 2020
Delaware: ……………20% by 2019
Hawaii: ……………… .20% by 2020
Illinois: ………………..25% by 2025
Iowa: ……………………105 MW
Massachusetts: ……15% by 2020
Maryland: ……………20% by 2022
Maine: ………………….40% by 2017
Michigan: …………….10% by 2015
Minnesota: …………..25% by 2025
Missouri: ……………..15% by 2021
Montana: ……………..15% by 2015
New Hampshire: …23.8% by 2025
New Jersey: …………22.5% by 2021
New Mexico: ……….20% by 2020
Nevada: ……………….20% by 2015
New York: …………..24% by 2013
North Carolina: ….12.5% by 2021
North Dakota:* …..10% by 2015
Oregon: ……………….25% by 2025
Pennsylvania: ………8% by 2020
Rhode Island: ……..16% by 2019
South Dakota*: ……10% by 2015
Texas: ………………….5,880 MW by 2015
Utah*: …………………20% by 2025
Vermont*: ………….10% by 2013
Virginia*: …………..12% by 2022
Washington: ………15% by 2020
Wisconsin: …………10% by 2015

(* denotes a state with a voluntary standard)

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