New Data Indicates California Stays Ahead of Clean Power Goals
For immediate release: February 22, 2022
SACRAMENTO — Data from the California Energy Commission (CEC) shows that 59% of the state’s electricity came from renewable and carbon-free sources in 2020.
CEC estimates that in 2020, 34.5% of state retail electricity sales were served by Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) eligible sources such as solar and wind. When carbon-free energy sources such as large hydro and nuclear are included, 59% of the state’s retail electricity sales came from non-fossil fuel sources in 2020.
In 2019, more than 60% of the state’s electricity came from renewable and carbon-free sources. The decrease in 2020 is due to lower hydroelectric production caused by a severe drought, as well as pandemic-related delays in new renewable energy projects.
“California is fully committed to achieving 100% clean electricity,” said CEC Chairman David Hochschild, “The cost reduction and innovation occurring in the renewable energy industry has created the conditions where renewables are mainstream and fossil fuels are now becoming the alternative energy.”
Annual figures also indicate that California exceeded 2020 RPS targets in 2018, when approximately 34% of retail electricity sales came from RPS-eligible sources.
Senate Bill 100 (2018) accelerates RPS goal to 60% by 2030. Historic policy also requires RPS-eligible sources and carbon-free resources to supply 100% of retail electricity sales of California and purchased electricity to serve state agencies by 2045.
Governor Gavin Newsom Proposed budget 2022-23 includes nearly $2 billion to spur innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies to support the state’s transition to 100% clean electricity. This includes long-term storage financing and offshore wind planning, two critical resources that can help bridge the gap that occurs at the end of the day when renewable energy generation such as solar dips and the demand for electricity increases.
The data shows that the decrease in 2020 is mainly due to an almost 20% drop in large-scale hydroelectric production compared to 2019. The small decrease in the amount of renewables eligible for the RPS is mainly due to the decrease production from small hydroelectric facilities, which fell by just over 40%. % from 2019. In addition, pandemic-related delays in new clean energy projects contributed to a 50% drop in new generation RPS in the state.
For more information on the state’s progress toward 100% clean electricity for all, download the 2021 California Clean Energy Annual Almanac on the CEC Energy Almanac page.