by Melanie Paty
A recent article on Renewable Energy World by Bloomberg’s Mark Chediak and Miachel B. Marois proves that Governor Jerry Brown’s goal to “show that decarbonizing is consistent with economic abundance financial stability” is becoming a reality. Since Brown came to office in 1975, he has been pushing for policies that support green technology and today, California has the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation. Within the next 15 years, Brown has proposed increasing electricity supply by renewables from 30% to 50%, reducing petroleum use in cars and trucks by 50%, increasing energy efficiency of existing buildings by 200%, and putting 1.5 million zero emission cars on the roads. While most governments are hopping on the sustainability bandwagon in recent years, California’s early investment seems to be paying off. The article examines the performance of the 26 California-based clean-tech companies relative to other stocks within the NYSE Bloomberg Americas Clean Energy Index. The Californian companies are expected to climb 49% higher than the others in the next year. They also spend an average of $141 million on research and development, which is approximately 25% of sales, whereas other U.S. companies in the index spend an average of $85 million, only 10% of sales. Furthermore, the Californian companies employ a total of 431,000 people across the nation; Tesla and SolarCity, two of the biggest California-based firms in the index, have been generating jobs at a rate of 9.5% per year over the past two years. Additionally, over the past eight years, investors have provided more than $27 billion dollars in financing for clean technology in California through venture capital and other avenues. Opposition argues that expansion of renewable energy will push energy prices up when California already faces 79% higher rates than the rest of the Unites States due to the inclusion of renewables and gas.