Earlier today, the California Assembly passed a bill that would oblige state utilities to get a third of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. It is one of the most aggressive standards in the world.
The Senate passed the legislation in February, and Governor Brown is expected to sign the bill.
How big a deal is it? Well, according to Peter Miller, a senior scientist at NRDC, "As a result of the RPS program, renewable energy generation in California in 2020 will be roughly equal to total current U.S. renewable generation, and supply enough clean energy to power nearly 9 million homes" or, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, drive 3 million cars.
This is an absolutely amazing case of wishful thinking. Note the "will be" in the last paragraph. Really? Can I have the other side of that bet? The California legislature can legislate a unicorn in every garage but that does not mean it will happen by 2020.
Forgetting for a moment the absolutely horrible cost and/or reliability position of most "green" energy technologies, there is no way, absolutely no way, that California can permit and construct a replacement for a third of its electric generation in 9 years. And I shudder to even think how large of a broken window obsoleting and forcing replacement of a third of electrical generation capacity will be.
A final thought, via Dilbert: