As most of you know by now, Senate Bill (“SB”) 350, the much-chronicled and debated Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, passed out of the California Legislature and is currently awaiting signature by Governor Brown.  The bill currently includes the following significant changes to California’s energy and climate goals:
  1. A new Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) target of 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030;
  2. A new target for statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas final end uses of retail customers that cumulatively doubles savings by 2030; and
  3. An evolution of the California Independent System Operator into a regional organization.
Much of the bill tracked Governor Brown’s January State of the State address.  In that address, he revealed his energy and climate goals, which include both the increasing of the RPS to 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030 and doubling the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Importantly, in that address Governor Brown also called for the reduction of petroleum use in cars and trucks by 50%.  While an important part of the original language in SB 350 focused on the reduction of petroleum use, significant political debate and pushback regarding that portion of the bill led to its eventual elimination. If the Governor signs the bill, which seems extremely likely, implementation of each of these new statutory measures will result in significant processes at a variety of California state agencies.  We will provide updates on this blog as the various implementation processes begin at the various state agencies.