From Obama, to Brown, to Villaraigosa, everyone has a plan to wean us off fossil fuels. Elections are near, but are we any closer to the renewable energy goals mandated by our political leaders?
We’re talking the green talk, but are we walking the green walk?
Unfortunately, not yet. Well, maybe a little.
First, let’s take a look at the goals.
In Los Angeles, we’ve been tasked with generating 30% of energy from renewables by 2020. According to LADWP, 39% of the utility’s power comes from coal, while less than 1% comes from solar.
On a macro level, CA is expected to be 33% renewable by 2020. As of 2010, only 14.6% of generated electricity in the state was renewable. Governor Brown will earn himself a name upgrade to Governor Green should he succeed in meeting this goal, but it’s looking unlikely.
Just 10 years away from our deadline, it’s obscene that a tiny fraction of our roofs are carpeted in solar in the “Golden State”. There is enormous untapped potential in CA. To unleash solar, drastic policy changes must occur, including inside the utilities where officials are slow to adapt.
The highly anticipated Feed-in Tariff program is a great start. However, for a state using more than 59,000 MW at peak demand, the program’s pilot 10 MW is a drop in the bucket.
What good are mandates when policymakers are dragging in compliance? We’ve elected these leaders expecting results. It’s time to move. The clock is ticking.