Economic Message of the Week: California Announces Renewable Energy Projects

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced 244 proposed renewable energy projects that could greatly boost the state's clean energy goals through the solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydro sectors.

"California is a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection. Today's announcement is proof we have a bright renewable energy future that will both fight climate change and drive our green economy," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "This list of nearly 250 projects is great news for our state because not only will these projects help us meet our long-term environmental goals they will also create green jobs and new, clean investment in our economy now. My Administration will continue to work with our federal partners to expedite renewable energy projects to help meet our aggressive renewable energy goals while ensuring they comply with all state and federal environmental regulations."

The governor had named a renewable energy goal of 33 percent by 2020. The proposed projects could increase annual statewide renewable energy production from just over 8,000 megawatts to almost 70,000.

California was the first state to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of the Interior to develop long-term plans for renewable energy proliferation and to hasten the passage of eligible projects through state and federal permit straits.

"I am very encouraged by the Governor's renewable energy goals and his vision that development in California should occur on private and state lands, as well as on federal public lands," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "Moving forward together on all these fronts will help ensure that we all can make responsible decisions on where to site these large projects while still protecting sensitive lands and resources in California."

Published: January 5, 2010