California’s Renewable Energy Plan Is a Big Deal

California repeatedly warned about spiking gas prices, fragile supply. But fixes never came.

In a little over a year since the state of California passed a landmark law to increase its electricity supply by requiring a portion of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources, not a single major energy provider has signed on.

The Golden State is one of 32 states (plus Washington, D.C.) to have signed up to buy large amounts of renewable energy and, as it stands, it is the largest market, both in terms of volume and number of suppliers, in the nation.

That’s because California’s renewable energy mandate, part of its landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, provides for two different models. The first is the “deregulated” model, where utilities offer customers the option of adding solar panels, wind turbines or batteries to their electric consumption. The second is the regulated model, where utility-scale wind turbines generate their electric power from renewable sources, like solar or wind.

In both models, utilities are allowed to set a price, and the first year of the program was meant to determine how much they were to pay for the electricity being generated by renewable sources.

The deregulated model produced an average of 24 percent renewable energy in California in the first year, but that number dropped to 10 percent in the second year, and has remained around that level ever since.

The regulated model, on the other hand, produced between 37 and 41 percent renewable energy in the years prior, but dropped to under 21 percent in the second year and has remained between 19 and 23 percent ever since.

In any case, even after the two years have passed, the amount of renewable energy that California has purchased, has remained below its target of 40 percent by 2025.

Even so, the state is going ahead with its long-term plan to add more renewable power to meet its requirements.

But here’s the biggest problem: The price of solar and wind has plummeted.

The state set a target price of $400 per

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