The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Leadership Council hosted a renewable energy policy forum on Friday, February 9, 2018 at their downtown La Kretz Innovation campus. Statewide energy experts discussed the critical challenges of achieving 100-percent renewable energy for California and focused on Senate Bill 100 (SB 100). L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council member and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De León opened the forum with confidence that SB 100 will pass this spring. A bill authored by De León, SB 100 would accelerate the state’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement from 50 percent to 60 percent by 2030 and set a statewide policy to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. He emphasized that the bill will catalyze investment, innovation, and transformation towards electrified transportation. “100 percent renewable energy is possible and the world is watching [us],” said De León. Further, he addressed components of the bill including provisions that ensure disadvantaged communities are part of the transition.
Following the keynote, two panels examined key barriers in implementing renewables and the economic impact on communities. The first panel featured Sustainable LA Grand Challenge partners, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Southern California Edison along with other experts. They discussed the technical and regulatory barriers of achieving 100-percent renewable energy and how to fully integrate renewables into the energy grid. Topics covered included: barriers in local government that slow the spread of distributed solar, the importance of expanding large-scale solar generation and increasing storage, as well as the need for a large-scale push to electrify the transportation sector. The energy among leaders at the forum demonstrated clear motivation towards building momentum for an energy revolution.
Mark Gold, associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability and leader of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, joined other experts to highlight how clean energy will contribute to the economic well-being for Californians. “Meeting the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge goal of a decarbonized future will lead to innovation, job creation, and environmental health equity throughout the megacity of Los Angeles,” said Gold. The statewide focus sparked by De León bolsters the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge’s goal to fully transition L.A. towards renewable energy by 2050. “It is so heartening to see the leadership from Senator De León and the leaders at this forum push for 100-percent renewable energy generation by 2045,” said Gold.
This post was written by Conor Cusack. He is a geography/ environmental studies major in his senior year, an outdoor enthusiast and a writer for Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.