…..With A Little Help From Their Friends In Oregon

State Economy

The population of the state of California is approximately 39.61 million people[1]. California is the most populated state in the United States.

In 2020, California’s economy was ranked 1st in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the agriculture, information technology, film, financial services, and tourism industries[3].

Environment Policies

In 2002, California enacted a mandatory renewable portfolio standard[4], which requires all utilities to sell 44% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2024, 52% by 2027, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

In 2020, California enacted legislation that mandates all new cars and trucks sold must be zero emissions by 2035 and 2045, respectively[5].

In January 2021, state utilities[6] used natural gas (52.9%), renewable energy (37.4%), nuclear (9.6%), and coal (0.1%) to generate electricity. Solar, biomass, hydropower, wind, and geothermal are the primary sources of renewable energy in California.

California’s devastating wildfires contribute to the state’s high cost of electricity. In January 2021, the average cost of residential electricity in California was 21.43 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 12.69 ¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in California include:

  • 400 MW Solar + 180 MW Energy Storage Project – American solar company, 8minute Solar Energy is continuing work on the Rexford 1 Solar & Storage Center in Tulare County. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.
  • 350 MW Solar Project – In May 2021, Canadian solar company, Sonoran West Solar commenced work on the Crimson Solar Project in Riverside County. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.
  • 214 MW Solar Projects – In February 2021, British utility, EDF Energy commissioned the Desert Harvest 1 (114 MW) and Desert Harvest 2 (100 MW) solar projects in Riverside County.
  • 192 MW Solar Project – In January 2021, Canadian renewable energy company, Clearwater Energy commissioned the Rosamond Central Solar Project in Kern County.
  • 182.5 MW Energy Storage Project – American utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is continuing work on a lithium ion energy storage system in Monterey County. The energy storage project is scheduled to be commissioned by July 2021.
  • 4.8 MW Floating Solar Project – In March 2021, American renewable energy company, White Pine Renewables commissioned the Healdsburg Floating Solar Project at a water treatment facility in Sonoma County.


California legislators passed zero-carbon emission laws without asking the most important question – Does the state have the renewable energy resources to make it happen?

California will not achieve their zero-carbon emission goal, unless it dramatically increases clean, green energy imports from neighboring states like Oregon.

Oregon has almost unlimited renewable energy potential from wind, solar, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal. California has been importing clean green energy from Oregon’s hydropower projects for decades.

California’s dreams of a green future will almost certainly require renewable energy from neighboring states to make it a reality.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

[1] California Population 2020, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in California – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, January 4, 2021

[5] NPR – California Governor Signs Order Banning Sales Of New Gasoline Cars By 2035, September 23, 2020

[6] U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), California State Profile and Energy Estimates, May 21, 2020

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