The big three California utilities did not hit the goal of getting 20 percent of their power from new renewables, but they came really close.
The California Public Utilities Commission issued its quarterly report today and noted that Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric obtained 17.9 percent of their power from "new" renewables (renewable energy sources not including large hydropower) in 2010, up from 15.4 percent in 2009. SCE, the largest of the group, had the highest percentage of renewable power at 19.4 percent. PG&E followed with 17.7 percent, while SDG&E lagged with 11.9 percent.
Still, it was a good showing. Since 2008, the three utilities have said that it would be unlikely that any of them would hit the mark. California's renewable law includes a grace period that allows them to comply by 2013. That likely won't be necessary.
Nonetheless, it's not time to relax. Governor Jerry Brown will likely soon sign a bill that will require utilities in the state to get 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. California is also encouraging efficiency, net zero energy building codes, and expansion of energy storage. Critics sniff, but they also said the state was run by unrealistic health nazis in the early '90s when it banned smoking in restaurants. That concept has since gone global. (We also gave the world macrame plant hangers, so I'll give you that one.)
The report further added that 2 gigawatts have come on-line in the state by virtue of the RPS law and that 300 megawatts were added in the first quarter of 2011 alone. An additional 589 megawatts will be added by the end of the year.