Have Wind, CSP, and PV Turned Against Each Other?

The three major investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in California are well on their way to meeting their obligations to provide a third of their power from renewable sources by 2020. As a result, they and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), their regulators, are no longer thinking only about the quantity of the renewables they want. They are starting to think more carefully about the quality of the renewables and how they will fit into utility portfolios.

As of May 2012, according to the CPUC, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) had procured renewables capacity equal to 20.09 percent of its 2011 electricity. San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) had procured 20.80 percent, and Southern California Edison (SCE) had 21.07 percent. At recent conferences in San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix, renewables investors repeated, off-the-record, that the IOUs may have as much as three-quarters of their 2020 obligations under contract.

To determine the best economic choices to fill out the remainder of the renewables portfolio, the CPUC is considering a new formula. In his April 5 Rulemaking, Commissioner Mark Ferron described a redefinition of the 2004 “least cost, best fit” formula for capturing the full range of costs and benefits of renewables selected to meet the RPS.

via Have Wind, CSP, and PV Turned Against Each Other? : Greentech Media.

Categories: Electricity, Energy