Testimony of Aaron Johnson

Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee


Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
Informational Hearing


February 26, 2008


Who We Are
  • DRA is an independent organization within the CPUC that represents consumers in utility matters.
  • DRA’s statutory mission is to obtain the lowest possible consumer rates for utility services consistent with safe and reliable service levels.

    DRA Supports Renewable Energy for California Consumers
  • California should increase renewable energy through efforts that produce the maximum renewable energy at minimum cost.
  • Consumers are protected from volatile natural gas prices by diversifying the utilities’ energy supply portfolios with renewable generation.

    DRA Concerns with Renewable Portfolio Standard
  • RPS acceleration to 2010 (along with other state’s adding similar requirements) creates supply-demand imbalance that is driving up prices.
  • California’s requirement increases renewable generation to serve the state at 15 times the historical growth rate of these resources.
  • Price of wind generation signed to utility contracts has almost doubled over the last four years.
  • Benchmarking renewable resources to the cost of conventional generation eliminates the hedge they create against natural gas price volatility.
  • Greenhouse gas reduction and RPS goals overlap and are not integrated into an overall policy or program to limit cost and benefit duplication.
DRA Actions & Recommendations
  • Monitoring renewable bids in utility solicitations to ensure lowest costs.
  • Ensuring that additional RPS costs are made transparent – these include transmission, re-selling excess power, and purchasing back-up generation.
  • Encouraging utility-owned generation to be part of competitive solicitations as a possible check on development costs.

Committee Address