California Meets 20 Percent of Electricity Demand With Clean Energy

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California power utilities are now achieving more than 20 percent of the state’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources, state regulators say. In its latest quarterly report, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said that the state met 20.6 percent of its electricity demand with renewable sources — including wind, solar, and geothermal — during 2011, up from 17 percent in 2010.

In 2012, the report says, the state is on pace to far surpass that level. According to the CPUC report, 2,871 megawatts of energy capacity from clean sources has been added statewide since ambitious clean energy standards were enacted in 2003, and another 3,000 megawatts are expected to be added during 2012.

A dozen utility-scale solar photovoltaic plants, with a combined capacity of 2,200 megawatts, are currently being built in California, while another 62 plants totaling 11,600 megawatts of capacity are being developed.

The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that 20 percent of electricity sold to customers be generated from renewable sources from 2011 to 2013; the target increases to 33 percent by 2020.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.