But despite energy successes during his last stint as head of the state, many challenges remain, including some new ones.
"Three decades on, California remains ahead of the country in energy efficiency. Its per-capita electricity usage has barely budged since Brown's time despite the proliferation of gadgetry and a fondness for McMansions. California also continues to lead on solar, although without the emphasis on solar hot water that Brown had envisioned.
But on wind, the Golden State has become the Bronze State. Texas leads the nation in wind power production, having passed California for the top spot several years ago-and, embarrassingly, California now also trails Iowa, a state one-third of its size. Very few wind farms-or biomass or geothermal facilities-have been built since Brown's time. Wind farms or other power plants can no longer be blithely sited on empty land in California-a partial legacy of the many birds that have perished at Altamont Pass."