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Last Updated: 5/20/2011
Budget Issue: Implementation of 33 percent Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)
Program: Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission
Finding or Recommendation: Approve Governor's May Revision proposal requesting $646,000 for five permanent positions and contract funds to implement the state's 33 percent RPS.
Further Detail

Governor’s May Revision Proposal. The Governor’s 2011-12 May Revision requests  an increase of five positions and $646,000 from the Renewable Resource Trust Fund ($100,000 for contracts) for the California Energy Commission (CEC) to implement the state's statutorily mandated 33 percent RPS. 

Recent Legislation Enacted to Increase RPS Target and Scope. Earlier RPS legislation mandated that investor-owned utilities (IOUs), by 2010, meet 20 percent of their electricity procurement from renewable resources, such as solar, geothermal, biomass, or wind power, either from their own power sources or through the purchase of electricity from others. Publicly owned utilities (POUs), however, were encouraged (but not required) to meet these same goals.

In enacting Chapter 1, Statutes of 2011, 1st Ex. Sess. (SB X1 2, Simitian), the state adopted the requirement for both IOUs and POUs to meet 33 percent of their electricity procurement from renewable resources by 2020. SBX1 2 thus increases both the percentage of electricity procurement that must be obtained from renewable resources and, by expanding the RPS requirements to POUs, significantly increases the number of entities now subject to meeting these requirements. As such, CEC's role in the implementation of the state's RPS law has increased and will now include monitoring POU RPS compliance

LAO Recommendation. The Governor's May Revision proposal provides adequate workload justification. As such, we recommend the Legislature approve the Governor's May Revision proposal.