California is one of the largest states in United States with 38.8 million populations. In 2014, the GDP of California ranked No.1 in the United States (EIA, 2016). The net electricity generation of California in 2014 is 198,808,000 MWh and is ranked in the top 5 states for electricity demand (EIA, 2014). However, the energy consumption per capita in California is the lowest of the lower 48 states.
As can be seen from the Table 1, the main in-state electricity generation energy source differs from that of the US. In California, natural gas generates about 61.28% of electricity, which is about twice the US average (32.73%). There are not any coal-fired power plants in California due to the strict emission regulation applied. This is a large difference between California’s state generation mix when compared to the use of coals as a power source across the remainder of the United States.
Another main difference between California and the rest of the U.S. is the renewables. California has a much higher proportion of renewable power, including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal. In 2002, California established Renewables Portfolio Standard Program(RPS) with the target to achieve 20% renewable energy in the state’s electricity mix (California Energy Commission, 2016). The standard was updated in 2004 to accelerate the renewable energy promotion. According to the updated RPS, with more aggressive goals, retail sales of electricity were expected to achieve a mix of 20% renewable by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016 and the 33% by the end of 2020. The Renewable Energy Program has been implemented by the Energy Commission since 1998 to provide market-based incentives for new and existing utility-scale facilities powered by re...
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...requirements, which is a new categorization of imports to applied a weighted-average emission factor for all generation sources within the system’s generation portfolio, has been withdrawn because of significant criticism.
From the Table 3, we can noticed that the effort California made to reduce its coal-fired power both in the state and out of the state. The coal-fired electricity that imported from seven coal-burning plants was 27428 GWh in 2007, which dropped to 18342 GWh in 2014 (CMC.2015). It is projected that CARB may begin to scrutinize “unspecified” claims to further control coal-fired power plants and relatively higher-emitting gas-fired resources. Additionally, to reach the goal from RPS that achieving 30% renewables mix in California, the requirement for an increasing proportion of renewable energy in import electricity may be enhanced in next decades.
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