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Solar PV panel California Renewable Energy Generation Climbs to New High

Tool Tracks California's Renewable Energy Progress

California's energy policies have helped the state more than double the delivery of renewable energy to the grid since the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) was launched in 2002. California has an estimated 15,000 megawatts (MW) of in-state renewable energy, enough to power more than 7 million homes. This represents more than double the renewable generating capacity that was online in 2002 when the program began. Another 700 MW is expected to be operating by the end of 2013.

The Energy Commission recently launched the Tracking Progress tool to track progress toward the state's energy goals. The site provides detailed information on a variety of energy programs, including the RPS and the Governor's goal of installing 12,000 MW of renewable distributed generation (DG) by 2020. Distributed generation is small-scale renewable energy facilities that are 20 MW or less in size. If all renewable DG programs are fully subscribed by 2020, California will have about 9,000 MW of renewable DG. By transforming the market for renewable DG, these programs could also lead to the installation of the nearly 3,000 MW of additional capacity needed to achieve the 12,000 MW goal.

At the end of 2012, an estimated 22 percent of California's retail sales were from renewable resources. The state requires the utilities to meet 33 percent of retail sales from eligible renewable resources by 2020.

The Energy Commission verifies RPS generation claims, and the findings are reported and used to determine compliance by the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and publicly owned utilities. The verification process reviews the amount of renewable generation procured each year. A new report provides preliminary verification of eligible renewable generation from 2008 through 2010 for the IOUs. The Energy Commission verified nearly 550 claims for 2008, more than 600 for 2009 and close to 620 for 2010. The final RPS Procurement Verification report may be considered for adoption at the Energy Commission's November 14 business meeting.

Updates for the Renewable Energy Tracking Progress tool will be available quarterly.