I'm lucky to live in a state that's a leader when it comes to renewable energy. In fact, Schwarzenegger wants California to get 33% of our energy from renewable sources come 2020 -- and many of us want the switch to happen even faster!
That's the good news. The bad: We've got a lot of serious challenges holding us back. For one thing, we first need to meet a 20% renewable energy by 2010 goal -- and the outlook on that's rather bleak. Reports the L.A. Times
As of 2008, Southern California Edison Co. posted 15.5%, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 11.9% and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. only 6.1%, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.
The three companies aren't expected to hit 20% until at least 2013.
In that article -- "California renewable energy goals: The devil is in the implementation" -- The L.A. Times points to in-state, out-of-state issues as the main quibble:
The main argument is over how much of the new green power must be generated within California's borders. Another point of contention is which is more expensive: in-state renewable energy or wind and solar power from facilities elsewhere in the West.
KQED's Climate Watch: Unlocking the Grid illuminates many more challenges also facing the renewable energy mandate. Watch the half-hour program to see how scaling up renewable energy not only means battling NIMBY groups, but also answering difficult questions about preservation of natural habitats and environments, using a whole lot of resources to build out new infrastructure, and much more.
Climate Watch also talks about getting individuals like you and me involved -- with smart devices that show us exactly how much energy we're using. Basically, research seems to show that if we see how much electricity we're sucking up -- and relatedly, how much we'll be paying for our uneco ways -- we'll start conserving naturally.
That explains the growing popularity of new smart grid end user devices! You've probably heard of Tweet-A-Watt, the Kill-A-Watt device that's been modified to tweet home energy use. Other devices too have gotten tweeting! Energy Circle hacked a device called TED, The Energy Detective, and got it to start tweeting its sleuths. For the less geeky, Springwise found the Yello Sparzähler" smart meter, which comes tweet-ready, no hacking skills required.
Last but not least, Lynne Kiesling at Knowledge Problem's put together a long list of smart gadgets, both available now and in the pipeline, that'll let you see where your energy's going, and/or control that energy flow remotely. Knowledge is conserved power!
Photo by abraham_neben
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
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