On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released its Renewables Portfolio Standard Annual Report announcing that the State is on track to meet its renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requirement of 50% ten years ahead of schedule. The California RPS sets a requirement that 33% of electricity retail sales be served by renewable resources by 2020, and 50% by 2030. But with aggressive investment in renewables the State’s three large investor owned utilities (IOUs) may achieve the 50% goal by the 2020 deadline, ten years early.

The report commended the State’s three IOUs for exceeding requirements well ahead of schedule.  As of this year, 43.2% of San Diego Gas & Electric’s energy sales, 32.9% of Pacific Gas & Electric’s energy sales, and 28.2% of Southern California Edison energy sales came from renewable resources.  The report also says that the California RPS program has helped achieve significant cost reductions for renewable electricity.

Community Choice Aggregators and small and multi-jurisdictional utilities are also in compliance with current RPS requirements and forecast that they will meet, and in many cases, exceed the 2020 requirement of 33%.

The Commission also credited the State’s RPS with driving down the cost of renewables in the marketplace. The price of utility scale solar contracts reported to the CPUC have decreased 77% since 2008, and the price of reported wind contracts has gone down 47% since 2007. In a statement about the annual report, CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said “our utilities are exceeding the goals we put in place for them. Costs have continued to decline, and reliability has not been compromised in any way. California’s successful program offers lessons for other states interest in advancing clean energy policies.”

The full report is available here.