California aims to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and a new bill now in the legislature seeks to get to 100% renewables by 2045. A significant amount of this energy will come from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, with much of the deployment likely to occur in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
But these facilities often engender controversy related to the loss of agricultural and biologically sensitive lands, among other conflicts. How can stakeholders and policy makers ensure that future solar PV deployment occurs only in “least-conflict” lands (which are least likely to engender objections and possibly litigation) in the San Joaquin Valley region and beyond?
This was a subject that Berkeley Law and Conservation Biology Institute covered in last year’s report “A Path Forward: Identifying Least-Conflict Solar PV Development in California’s San Joaquin Valley.” It is also the topic for discussion at a free evening event next week, Tuesday, June 6th, from 5:30 to 7pm at Farella Braun + Martel LLP’s downtown San Francisco office.
In addition to my overview of the report, panelists will include:
- Erica Brand, Director, California Energy Program, The Nature Conservancy
- Renee Robin, Senior Counsel, Allen Matkins
- Diane Ross-Leach, Director, Environmental Policy, PG&E Company