Estimated Annual Clean Energy
Recent analyses have included RPS-certified renewable, large hydroelectric, and nuclear (Clean Energy) resources in the evaluation of reaching the goal of serving 100 percent of California’s retail sales and state loads with RPS-certified renewable and zero carbon energy by 2045. Progress towards achieving the 100 percent goal has been impacted recently by low precipitation and COVID impacts to constructions of new energy projects. Historical annual estimated percentage of clean energy (RPS-certified renewable, large hydroelectric, and nuclear) resources are shown below.
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The annual amount of electricity generated in gigawatt hours.
Gigawatt hour is an electric unit of measurement equal to one million watts of power supplied to, or taken from, an electric circuit steadily for one hour.
Percent Clean Energy:
The quantity of RPS-certified renewable, large hydroelectric, or nuclear electric generation divided by the Energy Commission adopted retail sales for the corresponding year.
Power Source Disclosure (PSD):
The PSD Power Source Disclosure program was established by Senate Bill (SB) 1305 (Stats. 1997, ch. 796) in an effort to provide retail electricity consumers “accurate, reliable, and simple to understand information on the sources of energy that are used to provide electric services.” This program provides consumers a detailed view into the sources of energy purchased and associated greenhouse gas emissions by their retail suppliers to power their homes and businesses.
Quarterly Fuels and Energy Report (QFER):
The set of data collection regulations that collect California electric generation, control area exchanges, and natural gas processing and deliveries. Electricity generation data is collected for power plants with nameplate capacities greater than 1MW located within California or within a control area with California end users.
Categories of similar electric generation facilities including renewables as defined under California’s RPS regulations, hydroelectric facilities with nameplate capacities over 30 MW, and nuclear-powered generation facilities.
An electrical generating facility which has met the requirements and followed the process for approval as a certified eligible renewable energy resource for purposes of complying with California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program. The Energy Commission, consistent with the California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Section 3201 (k), must determine the facility meets the definition of a ʺrenewable electrical generation facilityʺ in Section 399.12 (e) of the Public Utilities Code, including a facility satisfying the criteria of Section 399.12.5 of the Public Utilities Code.
The quantity of certified renewable generation serving California’s retail sales has steadily increased over the past years. The quantity of large hydroelectric production has varied significantly based on precipitation in the western region while nuclear production has stayed relatively stable given the availability of nuclear power plants.
Trend lines are presented from 2004 to 2021 and shows the three-year floating average value.
Data last updated: 2/14/2023
Data Collection Information
Source of data was collected from Energy Commission data submittals including QFER, RPS, and PSD data sources and external data sources.
The estimated annual clean energy percentage is calculated using the following equation:
Estimated annual clean energy percentage equals annual generation from certified RPS facilities plus large hydroelectric and nuclear generation divided by retail sales or, in equation format as shown below.
Estimated Annual Clean Energy = (Annual RPS Generation + Annual Large Hydroelectric Generation + Annual Nuclear Generation)/(Retail Sales)
- Annual RPS Generation = the estimated annual generation of electricity in GWhs from RPS-certified facilities.
- Annual Large Hydroelectric Generation = the estimated annual generation of electricity in GWhs from large hydroelectric facilities.
- Annual Nuclear Generation = the estimated annual generation of electricity in GWhs from nuclear facilities.
- Retail Sales = the annual retail sales either adopted for the Energy Commission electricity demand forecast or subsequently updated QFER retail sales.
The annual percent of retail sales served by clean energy differs from the Total System Electric Generation (TSEG) percent of generated clean energy serving California because TSEG uses the total amount of electricity generated instead of retail sales as the denominator of the percent calculation. This leads to a lower percent renewable number since the amount of total generation is larger than retail sales. Retail sales is the amount of retail electricity delivered to California customers.
Please cite use of these data and images. California Energy Commission 2023. California Energy Commission Estimated Clean Energy Goal Progress. Data last updated [insert date last updated]. Retrieved [insert date retrieved] from https://www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/topics/renewable-energy/clean-energy-serving-california