Reuters Summit-California Favors Efficiency Over Alternative Energy

By Peter Henderson on September 9, 2009

California's chief climate change official on Wednesday sees a big need for small-scale clean energy like rooftop windmills and neighborhood solar power plants, but the state will gain more from efficiency than renewable power.

California legislators are debating whether to commit the state to getting 33 percent of its electricity from renewable power like solar and wind, which is already an informal part of the most populous U.S. state's landmark plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

"We believe that most of the reductions (in emissions) coming from the electricity sector as a whole are going to come from energy efficiency and conservation rather than the introduction of renewables," Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols told the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit in San Francisco.

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