The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released its 2020 Padilla Report, an annual accounting of costs and cost savings from the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), now targeting a 100% clean energy supply by 2045. The report documents the uneven workings of the RPS and ongoing gaps in critical data. To learn more, read “Analysis: California’s report on RPS costs and savings needs an update.”

Key Takeaways:

  • A key figure — contract costs per kilowatt-hour (kWh) — dropped about a cent, from 3.81 cents per kWh in 2018 to 2.82 cents per kWh in 2019, contributing to a slight drop in RPS spending by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and a parallel, incremental rise in electricity generated. 
  • The report’s top-line figures show the IOUs spending $5.4 billion on RPS procurements in 2019 versus $5.6 billion in 2018; the corresponding gigawatt-hours of renewable power rose from 52,936 GWh in 2018 to 53,244 GWh last year.
  • These and other figures in the report come with various caveats and qualifications in regards to   IOUs procurement, community choice aggregators’ (CCAs) growing impact and cost savings.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Moving toward a 100% RPS means taking into account the complexities of the California market and developing a more comprehensive, sophisticated framework for analysis. If California intends to meet its 2045 target, it must address certain gaps in critical data, such as RPS costs and savings.