David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
San Francisco ChronicleApril 12, 2011 04:00 ACopyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law which will require California's investor-owned utility companies to get at least 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The utilities are already required to get 20% of their power from renewable sources, a goal which has not been met yet, but which the new law will enforce by the end of 2013.
Speaking to a crowd gathered at a solar panel factory in Milpitas, Governor Brown framed the law in terms of maintaining California's lead in the green technology industry, improving the state's economy and increasing jobs over the long term.
Many clean-tech companies in Silicon Valley favored the law, saying that it will give investors confidence to continue building new factories and renewable power facilities in the state. PG&E, the state's largest utility, opposed the legislation on the grounds that it would restrict their ability to keep consumers' costs low. Southern California Edison, however, supported the law, expressing faith that prices for renewable energy such as solar power will continue to drop as worldwide production increases in response to increased demand.
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