Smart Grid Observer

CPUC Report Shows Utilities Ahead of Renewable Energy Goals in Fight Against Climate Change

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Source: Smart Grid Observer

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently (11/13) released its annual Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) report showing that the program, which is one of the most ambitious in the country, is ahead of target and is helping to achieve large reductions in costs for renewable electricity.

The state's RPS requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to procure 33 percent of retail sales per year from eligible renewable sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030.

As of 2017, the large investor-owned utilities surpassed interim targets, as shown below, and have sufficient resources under development to exceed the 33 percent by 2020 RPS requirement:

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company: 32.9 percent
  • Southern California Edison: 28.2 percent
  • San Diego Gas & Electric: 43.2 percent

Further, the RPS program has helped achieve large reductions in costs for renewable electricity. Between 2008 and 2016, the price of utility solar contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 77 percent, and between 2007 and 2015 prices of wind contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 47 percent.

'There is no greater time than now to fight climate change, and California is leading the way,' said CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, who is assigned to oversee the CPUC's RPS proceeding. 'Our utilities are exceeding the goals we put in place for them. Costs have continued to decline, and reliability has not been compromised in any way.  California's successful program offers lessons for other states interested in advancing clean energy policies.'

The full report is available at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/RPS_Reports_Docs/

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