By Nick Lawton, Energy Fellow
California has long been a leader in renewable energy policy, but the withdrawal of Assembly Bill 177 threatens the state’s leadership by failing to strengthen its renewable portfolio standard (RPS). California was among the first states to adopt an RPS in 2002, requiring utilities to produce or procure a certain portion of renewable energy by a certain date. California originally required 20% renewable energy by 2017 and has strengthened its RPS twice since. Today, California’s RPS is among the strongest in the nation, requiring utilities in the state to produce or procure 33% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Assembly Bill 177 (A.B. 177) would have strengthened the state’s RPS further, requiring 51% renewable energy by 2030 and making California by far the most ambitious state when it comes to renewable energy policy.