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SDG&E, Other State Utilities Fall Short on Renewable Goal

Audio

Aired 7/26/10

California law requires the state's largest investor-owned utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of this year, but it's likely none of the utilities, including San Diego Gas and Electric, will meet the goal.

California law requires the state's largest investor-owned utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of this year. But it's likely none of the utilities, including San Diego Gas and Electric, will meet the goal.

SDG&E, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison have signed contracts to get electricity from wind, solar and geothermal sources. However, many of those deals are with renewable power companies not yet producing energy. In some cases, construction hasn't even started.

Arthur O'Donnell with the Center for Resource Solutions said utilities have known for years the goal was impossible to meet.

He said SDG&E delivers the lowest percentage of renewable energy of the major utilities.

"San Diego started out the furthest behind when the PUC actually started tracking progress, like in 2003 San Diego was down around the 2 percent level and has just been increasing it minisculely each year," said O'Donnell.

Jennifer Ramp with SDG&E said the renewable requirement gives utilities flexibility.

"We are projecting that we'll be delivering about nearly 14 percent renewable energy in 2010 and an estimated 26 percent in 2012," said Ramp. "So, we're getting there, we're just not getting there as fast as we'd like to."

The renewable law does not penalize or fine utilities if they fail to meet this year's goal.

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