The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said that its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which is one of the most ambitious in the country, remains ahead of target and is helping to drive down renewable contract prices.
The state’s RPS requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to procure 33% of retail sales per year from eligible renewable sources by 2020 and 60% by 2030. On September 10, 2018, Senate Bill 100 was signed by Governor Brown, setting a target goal of a 100% carbon-free electric grid by 2045.
As of 2018, the large investor-owned utilities have executed renewable electricity contracts necessary to meet the 33% RPS requirement by 2020 and forecast reaching 50% by 2020. The small and multi-jurisdictional utilities, community choice aggregators, and electric service providers report compliance with current RPS targets and forecast that they will meet the future RPS requirement in 2020 with additional procurement.
Further, the RPS program has helped achieve large reductions in costs for renewable electricity. Contract prices for RPS-eligible energy dropped an average of 9.5% per year between 2007 and 2015. In 2017, the trend of falling contract costs continued and reached a historic low average price of $47/MWh.
“California continues on its path to a 100% clean energy future,” said Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves. “The RPS program has exceeded this year’s energy targets proving that this transition can be accelerated in an achievable and cost-effective manner.”
Added Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, “The RPS program is a success across the board: improved air quality, major carbon reductions, declining costs, improved system reliability, and significant economic development and job growth.”
The report is available at: www.cpuc.ca.gov/RPS_Reports_Data.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.