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PG&E hits 2020 renewables targets

20 Mar 2017 20:36 GMT
PG&E hits 2020 renewables targets

Washington, 20 March (Argus) — California's biggest utility has largely met the state's next renewable energy milestone, four years ahead of schedule.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which serves nearly all of the state's northern and central regions, says it used renewables for 32.8pc of it's electricity supply in 2016, just shy of the state's 33pc by 2020 mandate. Zero-emissions sources, including renewables and nuclear, had a 69.3pc share, the company said.

PG&E also said it is on track for the state's 50pc by 2030 renewable energy mandate.

"Delivering this amount of renewable electricity strongly confirms PG&E's continued commitment to a cleaner energy future for our customers and all of California," PG&E president and chief executive Geisha Williams said.

The company's announcement is in line with previous findings by the state Public Utilities Commission, which has said the state's major utilities are "well positioned" to meet the 33pc mandate.

While state law sets a 50pc by 2030 target, company has committed to reaching 55pc by 2030 as part of an agreement to shut down its 2.2GW Diablo Canyon nuclear station by 2025. The company did not say whether it was on track for that target as well and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the long-term outlook.

PG&E non-nuclear renewable generation grew more than 3pc from 2015 and runs the highest percentage of renewables power of all California utilities, the company said.

PG&E's rooftop solar customers now number more than 285,000, or about one quarter of total US systems, the company said. That aligns with the outsized role that the western states play in overall renewable energy generation. Western states contributed 63pc of the country's hydroelectric power as well as 77pc of all US solar generation in 2016, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.