Climate Action Plan - Measure E-2.1
Increase Renewable Electricity
The County will develop a renewable energy program to achieve 90% renewable electricity for the unincorporated areas by 2030. Electricity generated from renewable energy will result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions, energy cost savings, decreased reliance on public utilities, and cleaner air.
- 2025 Target: Establish a renewable energy program
- 2030 Target: Achieve 90% renewable electricity for the unincorporated county
Where are we going?
This measure establishes a County Renewable Energy Program to achieve 90% renewable electricity for the unincorporated county by 2030, exceeding state requirements for the California Renewables Portfolio Standard. There are several different types of renewable energy programs that the County could consider, however, the County is currently conducting a feasibility study to explore the possible development of a community choice energy (CCE) program. This item will be heard by the Board of Supervisors in October 2019.
Also referred to as community choice aggregation (CCA), community choice energy is a type of energy supply program that allows cities and counties to purchase clean energy to meet the needs of local residents and businesses by aggregating the buying power of individual customers within a defined area to secure alternative energy supplies. The County could also investigate opportunities to develop a regional or joint effort with other jurisdictions seeking to achieve similar renewable energy goals through a partnership (e.g., Joint Powers Authority).
How is this measured?
The County expects to achieve a reduction of 255,991 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through the increased use of electricity generated from renewable energy in the unincorporated area. Emissions reductions are calculated based on the difference between the amount of renewable energy required by the state (50% by 2030) and the amount of renewable energy supplied by the County’s renewable energy program (90% by 2030).
Why is this important?
The pooling of purchasing power to buy or generate electricity gives ratepayers the choice of where to purchase their power and to determine the mix of renewable energy sources. Choice and competition are the bedrock of CCE. Today, there are 19 CCEs operating throughout the state serving more than 8 million customers. In San Diego County, the City of Solana Beach has operated the Solana Energy Alliance since 2018. The City of San Diego recently took the next step towards a CCE by laying the groundwork for a future Joint Powers Authority that would allow for local governments to form a joint CCE, and the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, La Mesa and Santee are all either actively exploring the feasibility of CCE, or moving forward with CCE.
Electricity generated from renewable sources avoids greenhouse emissions from fossil fuel extraction, distribution, and use in electricity generation. Increasing renewable power decreases reliance on utility companies, reduces air pollution, and leads the County toward greater energy independence.