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Achieving 33% Renewables in California By 2020


Next year in 2010, California is expected to require 297,000 GigaWattHours (GWH) of electricity. By 2020, this number is expected to climb to 336,000 GWH. To meet 33% of 2020 demand with renewables, this will require an additional 67,000 GWH by 2020. (To stay on track with the current requirement of 20% renewables, the shortfall in 2010 will be 9,700 GWH over what is currently installed.)

The RETI committee (Renewable Electricity Transmission Initiative) has identified 74,000 GWH of potential projects with a low relative economic cost and low environmental risk that can be built in California but lacks transmission capacity currently. The report demontrates that the 33% RPS can me met by 2020 with large scale generation facilities. RETI identifies many additional resources that are available but have either higher environmental or higher economic costs. This information can be used to support SB 14 and AB 64.

RETI has also identified 1,375 potential photovoltaic (PV) projects of 20MW each that can be connected to local distribution substations and would require no transmission. The projects would result in 27,500 MW of capacity for a total of 58,775 GWH.
Note that the PV projects have no technical risk nor transmission needs and could meet over 80% of the 2020 shortfall. This information can be used to support SB 523 and AB 1106 as well as SB 14 and AB 64.

Four pages taken from the RETI January 2009 report (full report is 368 pages, over 8MBytes) which show this data can be found here.

A description of the 20MW PV project model taken from the RETI report can be found here.

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