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Local Government Commission

Renewable Energy


Coal, nuclear and natural gas plants are the United States’ primary sources of electricity, generating about two-thirds of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, one-third of the pollution that causes acid rain and smog, and over half of our nuclear waste.

California law defines renewable energy as that derived from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and small- to medium-scale hydropower facilities. These technologies are designated “renewable” because they do not use scarce, toxic fossil fuels and because they are regularly replenished through natural processes.

Use of these cleaner, renewable energy technologies can help reduce climate change impacts. Under restructuring, local governments may be able to participate in building new local markets for such technologies by becoming Community Choice Aggregators.

The LGC promotes both energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources. Our Currents newsletter contains articles related to local government use of renewable energy, and The Energy Aware Planning Guide: Energy Facilities describes the environmental effects and permitting issues associated with various energy technologies. We also provide links to other organizations' web pages that offer additional, specific information on renewable energy.


LGC has developed resource guides for renewable energy including Energy Conservation Under the Sun: A Resource Book for Local Governments, and the upcoming California Community Choice Aggregation Guidebook. Additional information is available in the following forms: