According to the report 'Tracking Progress', by California Energy Commission, the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) establishes increasingly progressive renewable energy procurement targets for the state’s loadserving entities, requiring both retail sellers and local publicly owned electric utilities to increase their procurement of eligible renewable energy resources to 33% of retail sales by 2020 and 50% by 2030.

The energy commission states that California’s load-serving entities (LSEs) are ahead of schedule for meeting the RPS targets, based on an approximation of generation from RPSeligible sources divided by retail sales. It estimates that about 30% of 2017 retail electricity sales in California were served by renewable energy facilities, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric. This is an increase from the 29% of 2016 retail electricity sales met with renewable energy. As stated in the report, wind and solar together account for more than 67% of all renewable electricity generation, with geothermal, biomass, and small hydroelectric generators accounting for the remainder. The growth in renewables, particularly solar generation, has dramatically changed California’s generation profile, and California’s grid operators have had to adapt to these changes. The grid managed by the California Independent System Operator (California ISO) experienced a new generation record from wind and solar resources on May 16, 2017.

Installed capacity of behind-the-meter solar has increased statewide, this includes the exponential growth of new distributed solar interconnected annually in both IOU and POU territories through both net-energy-metering (NEM) and self generation incentive programs. Of the more than 5,900 MW of behind-the-meter solar installed statewide, nearly 5,000 MW has been installed since 2011. California Is Benefiting From Dramatic Decreases in the Cost of Renewables: Continued cost declines in key renewable energy sources, mainly solar and wind energy, have helped maintain a fast pace of market growth for renewables. For projects completed in 2016, the cost of installing utility-scale PV (systems greater than 5 MW) has fallen by two-thirds since the 2007–2009 period, to $2.2/watt alternating current (WAC) (or $1.7/watt direct current [WDC]), with the median utility-scale installed price in California being marginally higher, at $2.4/WAC.

Source: California Energy Commission, Jan 2017

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