Sector-specific summaries of California's progress toward a cleaner energy future, with links to additional resources.
Information and metrics are updated regularly.
Total energy savings from efficiency programs, codes and standards, and price and market effects have increased over time relative to conditions in 1975, before California implemented the first efficiency standards. Building Standards implemented by the Energy Commission are moving toward zero net energy new buildings. More about Energy Efficiency.
Statewide Energy Demand
After the mid-1970s, per capita consumption remains relatively constant in California but continues to grow in the U.S. overall. Californians consume 40 percent less electricity per person because of factors ranging from climate and household size to fuel and industry mixes and the state's aggressive energy policies. More about Statewide Energy Demand.
The California Energy Commission is tracking progress toward achieving the state's renewables portfolio standards (RPS) for each compliance period. Also, the Energy Commission is tracking progress toward the 12,000 MW goal for renewable distributed generation, and the status of permitting and construction of new renewable energy facilities in California. More about Renewable Energy.
Governor Brown has signed an Executive Order laying the foundation to support 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 and published a ZEV Action Plan. As part of its work on electric vehicles, the Energy Commission forecasts ZEV sales and helps to set up a strategic electric vehicle charging network. More about Plug-in Electric Vehicles.
Natural gas provides the largest portion of the total in-state capacity and electricity generation in California. The installed (nameplate) capacity and generation amounts do not reflect contracted capacity and generational requirements as measured under California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Installed capacity is the maximum possible output from a generation facility. More about Installed Capacity.
Reliance on Coal
In 2012, electricity supplies from existing coal and petroleum coke plants was about 8 percent of total firm energy requirements to serve California loads. Over 90 percent came from out-of-state power plants. By 2022, energy from coal is expected to decline to 4.7 percent of California's total firm energy requirements. More about Current and Expected Energy from Coal for California.
Transmission expansion plays a vital role in enabling the interconnection and deliverability of renewable energy to meet the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). The Energy Commission conducts strategic transmission planning and corridor designation in coordination with the California ISO, the CPUC, and federal agencies. More about Transmission Expansion Projects for Renewable.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, also referred to as cogeneration, generate on-site electricity and useful thermal energy in a single integrated system. As a result, well-designed CHP systems consume less fuel than would be required to obtain electricity and thermal energy separately. More about Combined heat and power.
The growth of intermittent renewable generation to meet the state's 33 percent renewables portfolio standard by 2020 is creating a need for additional flexible capabilities to ramp generation and load up and down. Managing this need will require changes in operational rules and business practices of the generating fleet and may require additional development of targeted demand-side and storage resources. More about Resource Flexibility.
Once-Through Cooling (OTC)
The goal of the once-through cooling (OTC) policy is to reduce the inflow of ocean and estuarine water for power plant cooling. Generators must eliminate or reduce use of coastal or estuarine waters for OTC on a schedule established by the State Water Control Resources Board that considers both environmental goals and the need to maintain electrical reliability. Some generators have proposed alternative dates for specific units, groups of units, or whole facilities. More about Once-Through Cooling.