Rooftop solar power
Rooftop solar power in San Diego. Courtesy SDG&E

Nearly half the energy procured by San Diego Gas & Electric comes from renewable resources, the most among the state’s large utilities, the California Public Utilities Commission reported Monday.

According to the agency’s annual report on state standards for renewables, 43.2 percent of SDG&E’s energy was renewable, compared to 32.9 percent for Pacific Gas & Electric, which serves Northern California, and Southern California Edison, which handles areas in the lower half of the state that aren’t in SDG&E’s territory.

The state has set a target of 2020 for investor-owned utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators to acquire 33 percent of annual retail sales from eligible renewable sources by 2020. A decade later, the goal will be 50 percent.

The report said all three major utilities have sufficient resources under development to beat the 2020 deadline, and could even exceed the 50 percent mark by then.

“There is no greater time than now to fight climate change, and California is leading the way,” said CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, who is assigned to oversee the CPUC’s renewables program.

“Our utilities are exceeding the goals we put in place for them,” Rechtschaffen said. “Costs have continued to decline, and reliability has not been compromised in any way.  California’s successful program offers lessons for other states interested in advancing clean energy policies.”

Between 2008 and 2016, the price of utility solar contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 77 percent, and between 2007 and 2015 prices of wind contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 47 percent.

—City News Service