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CA sets highest renewable power goals in US

In this file photo, Jerry Brown, then California Attorney General, speaks at the Bryant Temple AME Church Friday Nov. 20, 2009 to announce his office is beginning an investigation into a nationwide scam that has defrauded more than 30 Southern California-based African churches. At right is senior Rev Clyde Oden Jr. (Nick Ut)

April 12, 2011 12:23:27 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday requiring California utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources, giving the state the most aggressive alternative energy mandate in the U.S.

Brown signed the bill at a solar panel manufacturing plant near San Jose.

California utilities and other electricity providers will have until the end of 2020 to draw 33 percent of their power from solar panels, windmills and other renewable sources.

Supporters say the increase from the previous law that required 20 percent renewable power will reassure investors and keep money flowing to develop alternative energy sources. They also say the bill will lead to cleaner air and job growth in the clean-energy sector.

But manufacturers and other critics say the higher standard will drive up electricity costs and hurt business competitiveness.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.