California's two biggest utilities are not meeting their green energy procurement targets under the state's renewables portfolio standard law, according to a draft California Energy Commission report presented March 15. The document revealed, though, that San Diego Gas & Electric has picked up its pace on renewable energy. The report, Renewables Portfolio Standards 2005 Procurement Verification, showed that Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric both missed their annual procurement targets for renewable energy in 2005. The two big utilities also missed their so-called incremental procurement targets, which represent the amount by which utilities are supposed to increase purchases of renewable energy over the previous year. In contrast, SDG&E exceeded both its annual and incremental procurement targets for green energy in 2005. While the findings are somewhat tenuous because of data limitations, the report includes the best information available for 99 percent of the state's three investor-owned utilities' electricity, said Jason Orta, its principal author. Those data show that in terms of annual procurement targets, Edison missed the mark by 2 percent and PG&E by 3 percent. On the incremental procurement target front, Edison fell short by 43 percent and PG&E by 37 percent. Meanwhile, SDG&E exceeded its annual procurement goal by 37 percent. The San Diego-based utility also beat its 2005 incremental procurement target for renewable energy by 40 percent. However, while its percentage increases are big, the utility's base use of green power is lower than that of the two bigger companies. For instance, the report showed that Edison is closest to meeting the 20 percent goal. Renewable energy represented 17 percent of the power it provided in 2005. At PG&E, green power stood at 12 percent in 2005. SDG&E, however, had just 5 percent renewable energy in 2005. Even though Edison is closest to the 20 percent goal, its president, John Fielder, late last month said that it is unlikely the utility will meet the target until 2011 or 2012. The chief obstacle, he explained, is the task of completing a transmission line to bring wind power from the Tehachapi Mountains into its system. Utilities are scurrying to develop sources of renewable energy much faster than they initially planned. They face fines by the California Public Utilities Commission if they miss the 2010 target, yet they believe fines would make little difference in the ultimate outcome. "I told [CPUC president Mike] Peevey you can fine us all you want," said Fielder. "It won't get new renewables and transmission built." Originally, the 2002 renewable energy law called for utilities to achieve the 20 percent target by 2017, but then state energy regulators said they believed the companies could do so by 2010. Lawmakers subsequently incorporated that 2010 target for 20 percent renewable energy into statute in a bill that took effect at the beginning of this year (Circuit, Sept. 29, 2006). Utilities had little to say about the report at the Energy Commission meeting this week. John Pappas, PG&E electric resource procurement manager, did note that because of technical issues, the draft document slightly underrepresented the amount of renewable power his company procured. In addition to telling how much green power the utilities purchased, the document also showed where that power came from in 2005. Geothermal power still represented the state's largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 9.50 million MWh. Small hydro came next at 3.74 million MWh, followed by wind at 3.66 million MWh. Biomass accounted for 3.61 million MWh, biogas 1.11 million MWh, and solar 662,000 MWh. Municipal solid waste energy totaled 140,000 MWh. Overall, California utilities procured 22.40 million MWh of renewable power in 2005.