California to add 25GW of renewables by 2030 under new roadmap

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Image credit: Viviana Rishe / Flickr

California’s green energy fleet is to undergo a deep-reaching transformation in the space of a decade under new targets, adopted by the US state’s regulator just this week.

Solar and energy storage batteries will be the two cornerstone technologies of a plan to add nearly 25GW in new renewable capacity to the Golden State by 2030, in a bid to push greenhouse gas emissions down to 46 million metric tonnes (MMT) by the same year.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The roadmap approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will see 11GW of new utility-scale solar installed by 2030, leading to a cumulative 25.9GW. For their part, storage battery systems must add a fresh 8.87GW to reach a cumulative 12GW by the same year.

The achievement of CPUC’s 25GW target – effectively more than doubling California’s current installed green energy capacity – will rest on power providers, including investor-owned utilities such as the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), community choice aggregators and others.

These firms must draw up plans on how they will contribute their share of the zero-carbon push. Once it reviews providers’ submissions, the CPUC will decide whether California will work towards a green energy portfolio able to deliver the 46 MMT target, or an even stricter 38 MMT goal.

New green energy vision for state hit by outages and COVID-19

In California, the setting up of a new decade-long renewable vision comes after years of turmoil in its energy sector. To the COVID-19 pandemic currently disrupting the industry across the globe, the US state adds a recent history of electricity blackouts brought about by wildfires.

The blazes claiming the lives of Californians in late 2018 also sent shockwaves through the state’s energy sector, with PG&E – one of the largest electric utilities nationwide – filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last January after enacting power shutdowns when wildfires hit.  

The large-scale outages have, it has been argued, seen state residents embrace solar and storage batteries in larger numbers than before. The link was explicit in the latest annual US solar update by national association the SEIA and consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

Their joint report, out last week, said outage-driven “disaffection” towards utilities has boosted citizen uptake of solar-plus-storage in California. Last year, the state accounted for 49% of nationwide residential PV additions and installed more solar of any kind – at 3.12GWdc – than any other US state, the report found.

In California, the buoyancy of residential solar-plus-storage has been mirrored by the mixing of both technologies on the utility-scale end, including for an “astoundingly cheap” pipeline near San Francisco and a major complex in Los Angeles boasting tariffs of US$0.013-US$0.01997/kWh.

See here to read CPUC's new roadmap in full

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

July 17, 2024
From January to May this year, 251 new solar projects became operational in the US, with a combined capacity of 10,669MW.
July 17, 2024
US utility PacifiCorp and rPlus Energies signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Green River Energy Center project in 2022.
July 17, 2024
US-based PV manufacturer Mission Solar Energy has unveiled three new modules aimed at commercial and industrial and utility-scale projects.
Premium
July 17, 2024
Liquidity is rising at great pace in US tax credit transferability for clean energy, helping lenders become comfortable with the market.
July 16, 2024
US-based software provider Aurora Solar has acquired solar design tool Lyra to grow its business in residential plan set services and automation.
July 16, 2024
US energy project developer Avangrid has begun to produce power from the 321MWdc/238MWac True North solar project in Falls County, Texas.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA