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City of Los Angeles making bumpy transition to clean energy

How do power companies transition from dirty energy to renewable energy while keeping the lights as they do it? The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is finding out, as they work towards a clean, renewable energy future. What they are doing makes an instructive case study for other utilities, many of whom are mandated to do the same.

The State of California says utilities must provide 33% renewable energy by 2020. This means that LADWP eventually needs to stop using coal. But, you say, coal plants aren’t allowed in California, so how can LADWP be using coal power? Well, it comes from hundreds of miles away from coal plants in Utah and Arizona.

  • Does the wording of the law actually state that 33% of energy produced in the state has to be from renewable sources or does it state that 33% of all energy consumed in the state must be from renewable sources? Because it seems like there is a big loophole here.

    If we had permanent magnetic generators, we actually could have nearly 100% renewable energy in the state by 2020. The only problem would be utilities wouldn’t be the source of the energy as everybody would have their own power generator on site that requires no fuel to operate.

    • 33% of energy must be renewable and produced within the state. Any widely distributed energy production method, whether it be wind, solar, or magnetic generators (if they exist) means the grid must be upgraded because it can’t handle such widely dispersed power sources now. 

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