Energy

Electricity Generation Mix in California and United States

Electricity Generation Mix in CA and US
Data Source: US Energy Information Administration. Electricity Data Browser

Why it Matters

  • California’s electricity generation mix is much cleaner than the average electricity mix in the United States because over 60 percent of electricity is generated from natural gas.
  • California uses very little coal, and is prioritizing the use of electricity generated from renewable sources.
  • As electricity demand increases over time, California prioritizes how that additional demand is met. This is called the Loading Order. California’s loading order prioritizes energy efficiency, followed by renewable electricity.
  • The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that 33% of California’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020, and that 50% come from renewable sources by 2050.


California Total System Power

Total System Power
Data Source: US Energy Information Administration. Electricity Data Browser

Why it Matters

  • California’s electricity generation mix is shifting over time towards cleaner sources of electricity production.
  • Natural gas has accounted for a larger share of electricity generation, and coal has declined to nearly zero.
  • California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard has led to an increasing share of renewable sources in the energy mix. The “Renewable” share in this indicator includes solar, wind, and small hydroelectric generation.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s electricity production is an important element of the State’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions.


California Energy Capacity by Renewable Energy Source

CA Energy Capacity by Renewable Energy Source
Data Source: US Energy Information Administration. Detailed State Data

Why it Matters

  • Renewable energy has grown as a share of the State’s electricity generation mix in the early 2000s.
  • Increasing the use of renewable energy sources is an important element of the State’s policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that 33% of California’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020, and that 50% come from renewable sources by 2050.
  • As the use of renewable energy sources has increased, the cost of many renewable electricity options have become competitive with traditional fossil fuel sources.

Why it Matters

  • Electricity use per capita in California is well below the national average, owing to the state’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards and mild climate.
  • Even as the state’s population has grown and there is increasing demand for electronic devices, per capita electricity use has remained steady.

California and United States Energy Consumption (2014)

Ca and US Energy Consumption
Data Source: US Energy Information Administration. Selected States Comparison:US, CA

Why it Matters

  • California has one of the lowest per capita energy consumption rates of any state in the country
  • California’s leadership in this area stems from its aggressive energy efficiency standards
  • Energy efficiency remains the top priority in meeting increasing energy demand

CA Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2014

By Sector and Activity (2016 Edition)
CA Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2014
Data Source: CARB 2016 Edition CA Greenhouse Gas Inventory for 2000 - 2014 by Sector and Activity

Why it Matters

  • Energy consumption occurs in all sectors of the state’s economy.
  • In California, the transportation sector accounts for the highest share of the state’s energy consumption.
  • This demand is met primarily though the combustion of fossil fuels to power passenger cars and trucks.
  • Consumption in the industrial and commercial sectors is primarily accounted for by electricity and natural gas consumption.