August 2, 2018 Read More →

Community choice is adding further momentum to California’s transition

Forbes:

California is on track to meet its clean-energy goals a decade early thanks in part to communities demanding and delivering renewable energy faster and cheaper than utilities can, according to a report released this morning.

A growing number of community choice aggregators (CCAs) in California are not only delivering a higher percentage of renewable energy than utilities, they’re also causing utilities to offer a higher percentage, according to the report by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

“The  rise of  CCAs has had  both direct and  indirect positive effects  on overall renewable energy  consumed in California, leading  the state to meet its 2030 RPS  targets approximately ten years in advance,” write Luskin Center director  JR DeShazo, lead author Julien Gattaciecca and co-author Kelly Trumbull.

CCAs allow communities to make their own agreements with energy providers. California’s CCAs offer a minimum of 37 percent renewable energy, a maximum of 100 percent. They average 52 percent renewable energy.

Investor-owned utilities offer renewable content between 32 and 44 percent.

CCAs only make up about 10 percent of California’s energy market, but they’ve had an outsized influence. As they pull customers away from traditional utilities, the utilities find themselves offering a higher percentage of renewables because of long-term contracts they’ve signed with renewable-energy producers.

As a result, even traditional utilities expect to offer 50 percent renewables by 2020. California’s standards call for that level of renewable penetration by 2030.

The authors expect the state’s three utilities—Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric—to have an average of 67 percent renewable energy in their portfolios by 2025.

CCAs are also growing rapidly and are expected to blossom their market share to 16 percent by 2020.

More: Community Choice Is Driving California’s Precocious Energy Revolution

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