Local renewables – those photovoltaics, small wind turbines, etc. on people’s roofs, and in public spaces close to demand – how big of a role can they play in our renewable energy future? Berkeley and UCLA law schools wrote about that topic in In Our Backyard, and California’s Governor Jerry Brown made this question a major part of his campaign for office. Brown noted that in order to meet the state’s renewable power standards, there would need to be about 20,000 megawatts of installed renewable capacity by 2020. He called for 12,000 megawatts of that amount to come from local renewables, as opposed to the “utility scale” solar and wind facilities in the desert and other remote locations.
In an invitation-only conference at UCLA next Monday and Tuesday, the Governor will explore the barriers to achieving his ambitious goal, and start to line up promising solutions. The conference is sponsored by the Bank of America and hosted by UCLA’s Luskin Center. The Energy and Cleantech Program at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) has helped to shape 11 policy papers prepared in advance of the conference and trained the facilitators who will work to identify barriers and solutions in 11 related panel sessions. Based on the results of the conference, CLEE will prepare a comprehensive paper setting the Governor’s agenda for pursuing his local renewable energy goal.
The Atlantic is moderating the initial conference panel, which will include Governor Brown. The magazine is providing a live webcast of this portion of the conference starting at 9 am on Monday, July 25th.