California’s wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy industries are commending California Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders for introducing legislation to stabilize California’s energy markets in the wake of unprecedented wildfires and climate catastrophes. The recently introduced AB 1054 is designed to both stabilize and hold accountable the state’s largest utilities in the face of catastrophic climate emergencies. The bill would create a fund that provides financial stability to utilities who adhere to new safety standards and places conditions around PG&E to emerge quickly from bankruptcy while improving safety practices to avoid future wildfires.
The renewable energy industry acknowledges the complex challenges that wildfire recovery, response, safety, and prevention pose to the State’s decision-makers, communities, and residents. The nine trade associations also represent over 28 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale and distributed renewable energy, serving over one-third of California’s electricity portfolio and is only going to grow exponentially. So, their thoughts matter in this conversation.
Shannon Eddy of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA) stated: “This is a pivotal moment for California. We must urgently address fire prevention and reparation, ensure we have stable utilities and rates, and mitigate the climate crisis that’s predicted to spur more fires. None of this is easy. We applaud the legislature and Governor Newsom for working together to find solutions to these profound challenges.”
In order to meet California’s current renewable requirement of 60% by 2030, California will need more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable resources by 2025. The financial stability of utilities is critical to progress on renewable energy development and construction.
To maintain a healthy investment climate for new clean technologies that will help the state achieve carbon neutrality, it is essential to uphold existing contracts with energy suppliers. The Governor and the CPUC have called on PG&E to honor its commitments to clean energy projects serving California ratepayers. Thus far, PG&E has honored these contracts. The clean energy industry expects them to follow through in the future.
— Solar Builder magazine