New analysis by a prominent energy lawyer indicates that California could reach its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal before the official due date of 2020. Under current law, state utilities must derive a third of their electricity from renewable sources such as California residential solar. But Jerry Bloom, the chairman of law firm Winston & Strawn LLP’s energy, project development and finance practice group, predicts that the state will meet its goal long before 2020.

The state’s three biggest investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – currently procure about 20 percent of their power production from renewables. Bloom thinks that those numbers will accelerate toward 33 percent because of interest in renewable energy from large corporations such as Microsoft and Google.

“People are saying we don’t care there is a 33 percent cap in California; we need more,” Bloom said recently at an energy conference, according to Bloomberg Magazine. “It’s the Bill Gateses, the Yahoos and the Googles and Apple that just bought a solar facility to operate themselves […] They give us the ability to push regulators and to get roadblocks out of the way.”

There’s certainly enormous demand in California for solar power, as evidenced by how quickly the state used up funding for the California Solar Initiative (CSI). That law stipulated that rebates would be available until 2017 or when funding ran out, whichever came first. However, the small-scale residential solar program of CSI has already been fully subscribed, four years ahead of schedule.

The reason for this growth is simple: The benefits of solar are considerable for families who want to lower their energy bills and help improve air quality. For more information on converting your household to solar power, contact West Coast Solar today.