FEATURE-Governor Moonbeam has big plans for California sun

Fri Jul 1, 2011 12:00pm GMT

* California mulls renewables as top energy source

* Jerry Brown reclaims his "Moonbeam" nickname

* Technology, money, environmentalists present challenges

By Peter Henderson

SAN FRANCISCO, July 1 (Reuters) - California plans to get a third of its electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy, but Governor "Moonbeam" Jerry Brown wants more. Soon.

The feisty 73-year-old who brings a former seminarian's zeal to environmentalism sees green jobs reinvigorating the economy and restoring California's position as world leader in clean energy.

Never mind budget gaps, technology gaps or the political gap that will come as the state legislature's champion of alternative energy is termed out of office.

"I didn't get my name Governor Moonbeam for nothing! I earned it, by advocating ideas that were not popular," said Brown, who earned the nickname Governor "Moonbeam" three decades ago when he wanted California to buy a satellite.

Returning to the top state office this year, Brown already has signed a law requiring that the state get a third of its electricity from solar, wind and the like by 2020. He called it just a start. That's the top goal in the United States in terms of raw power, although by 2030 tiny Hawaii is shooting for 40 percent, a number that resonates with Brown.   Continued...

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