To reduce the carbon footprint caused by utility-wide emissions, California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard was established by legislation in 2002. The mandate requires that all electric utilities procure energy generated by renewable resources into their portfolio.
Subsequent amendments to the law have resulted in a number of changes to the RPS. Most notably, the October 2015 passage of Senate Bill 350 extends the timeline requirements to 2030, when 50 percent of each utility’s retail sales must come from eligible renewable energy sources.
Interim renewable procurement targets:
- 20 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2013
- 25 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2016
- 33 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2020
- 40 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2024
- 45 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2027
- 50 percent of retail sales by Dec. 31, 2030
In 2018, the Governor signed SB 100, which accelerated the targets under SB 350 by increasing to 60 percent, from 50 percent, how much of California’s electricity portfolio must come from renewables by 2030. It also established a new policy requiring renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent of electric retail sales to end-use customers by 2045. Lastly, it required the California Energy Commission (CEC), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and California Air Resources Board (CARB) to prepare a report on how to achieve these goals. The SB 100 Joint Agency Report is due January 1, 2021 to the Legislature.