Clifford Rechtschaffen was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission in January 2017. His key areas of interest include decarbonization, safety, environmental justice, enforcement, and improving the accessibility of Commission proceedings. He is the assigned Commissioner on integrated resource planning, transportation electrification, building electrification, RPS, biomethane and renewable gas, supplier diversity, and several risk assessment and safety proceedings.
California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), as implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission, has been a remarkable success. First adopted in 2002 (and opposed at the time by utilities who said it would be too costly, infeasible, and make the electricity system unreliable), it has been strengthened and accelerated five times since then.
The law now requires that sixty percent of electricity sold in California by 2030 be renewable, and that one hundred percent must come from zero-carbon resources by 2045. Renewables currently constitute more than thirty-four percent of the State's electricity, demonstrating that we are well on our way to meeting or exceeding the sixty percent requirement — and we have more than twenty-six thousand megawatts of installed renewable capacity in the State.
Prices for wind and solar have plummeted over time, with solar eighty percent cheaper and wind fifty percent cheaper than in 2010. Last year, contract prices for solar in California dropped to 2.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. At the same time, the RPS has led to the creation of a stable and healthy renewable industry, and by some estimates produced more than one hundred thirty thousand jobs.