California Now Sourcing 32 Percent of Electricity from Renewables

California is on pace to meeting its renewable energy goals, and it is doing so, increasingly, with solar energy.

A recent California Energy Commission tracking progress report estimates that 32 percent of electricity retail sales in California were served by renewable energy sources.

That puts California on pace to surpass a goal of getting 33 percent of its electric energy from renewable energy by 2020 as set in its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) - one of the most ambitious renewable energy policies in the nation. California is a global leader in its efforts to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The RPS sets increasingly progressive renewable energy procurement goals. California is well on its way to meeting the 30 percent by 2020 and the 50 percent by 2030 targets.

“It’s very encouraging that California is ahead of schedule in its goal of getting to 50 percent by 2030,” said Energy Commissioner David Hochschild. “As we reach that milestone, we’re also seeing record low pricing in renewable energy projects which is good for California ratepayers and the environment.

The RPS applies to all electricity retailers in the state including publicly-owned utilities, investor-owned utilities, electricity service providers, and community choice aggregators. Wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric energy are considered renewable energy under the standards.

The report also found that, for the first time, solar represented the largest portion of renewable generation – at 36 percent. Wind energy accounted for 31 percent of the renewable energy.

California is also on track to meeting another renewable energy goal – distributed generation capacity. Distributed generation is technology used in the residential and commercial sectors that generates electricity at or near where it will be used. It includes solar panels, small wind turbines, and combined heat and power.

California is well on its way to meeting its goal of 12,000 megawatts (MW) of distributed renewable energy generation by 2020. By the end of 2017, more than 11,700 MW of distributed generation capacity was installed in the California, with about 340 MW of capacity pending, according to the report.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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