Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)

Docket # 11-RPS-01, 14-RPS-01, and 16-RPS-01

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Established in 2002 under Senate Bill 1078, California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) was accelerated in 2006 under Senate Bill 107 by requiring that 20 percent of electricity retail sales be served by renewable energy resources by 2010. Subsequent recommendations in California energy policy reports advocated a goal of 33 percent by 2020, and on November 17, 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08 requiring that "...[a]ll retail sellers of electricity shall serve 33 percent of their load with renewable energy by 2020." Senate Bill X1-2 was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in April 2011 setting the RPS target at 33% by 2020. This new RPS applied to all electricity retailers in the state including publicly owned utilities (POUs), investor-owned utilities, electricity service providers, and community choice aggregators. All of these entities had to adopt the new RPS goals of 20 percent of retails sales from renewables by the end of 2013, 25 percent by the end of 2016, and the 33 percent requirement being met by the end of 2020.

Most recently, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into legislation Senate Bill 350 in October 2015, which requires retail sellers and publicly owned utilities to procure 50 percent of their electricity from eligible renewable energy resources by 2030. Upon signing SB 350, Governor Brown stated that “California has taken groundbreaking steps to increase the efficiency of our cars, buildings and appliances and provide ever more renewable energy. With SB 350, we deepen our commitment.”

The Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission work collaboratively to implement the RPS. The original RPS legislation assigned the Energy Commission with the following responsibilities:

  • Certify renewable facilities as eligible for the RPS.

  • Design and implement a tracking and verification system to ensure that renewable energy output is counted only once for the purpose of the RPS and for verifying retail product claims in California or other states.

Senate Bill X1-2 expanded the Energy Commission's role to include the following responsibilities, most of which are specific to publicly owned utilities:

  • Adopt regulations specifying procedures for enforcement of the RPS for publicly owned utilities (completed in 2013).

  • Certify and verify eligible renewable energy resources procured by publicly owned utilities and to monitor their compliance with the RPS.

  • Continue to certify and verify RPS procurements by retail sellers.

  • Refer publicly owned utilities found to be non-compliant to the Air Resources Board, which may impose penalties.

The CPUC is addressing its responsibilities in implementing the RPS through its own proceedings. For more information please see the CPUC website at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/RPS_Homepage/


For more information regarding this proceeding or WREGIS, the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (tracking and verification system), please contact:

Jennifer Campagna
Renewables Portfolio Standard
California Energy Commission
Phone: 916-654-4710
E-mail: Jennifer.Campagna@energy.ca.gov


News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989
E-mail: mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us



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RPS Information

Regulations for POUs

Developing Guidelines for the 50 Percent Renewables Portfolio Standard

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