Renewables Portfolio Standard
Following deregulation of the electric utilities in 1998, the California Energy Commission (CEC) was placed in charge of a new Renewable Energy Program to help increase total renewable electricity production statewide. In 2002, California established the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) with the goal of increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the state's electricity mix to 20% by 2017.
In 2008, California set a more stringent statewide goal under Executive Order S-14-08, requiring utilities to increase the amount of renewable energy in their power mix to 33% by the year 2020. In 2011, SBX1-2 was signed by Governor Brown to codify the 33% RPS requirement into state law, requiring that utilities achieve 20% of retails sales from renewables by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016, and the 33% by the end of 2020.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the electric and natural gas investor-owned utility serving our region, claims to deliver some of the nation's cleanest energy to its consumers. More than half of the power generated by PG&E comes from renewable or greenhouse gas-free sources (GHG-free energy includes energy supplied by large hydro and nuclear power facilities).
By March 2014, PG&E announced that it had surpassed the 20% renewable milestone, with 22.5% of its energy coming from renewable sources in 2013. Read more about PG&E's low-emission and renewable energy projects here.
California Solar Rights Act
Originally enacted in 1978, the California Solar Rights Act bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar-energy systems. The Act was amended in September 2003 to prohibit a public entity from receiving state grant funding or loans for solar-energy programs if the entity prohibits or places unreasonable restrictions on the installation of solar-energy systems. The Act was amended again in September 2004 by extending its prohibition on restrictions to all public entities.
California Solar Easement
California’s solar access laws allow neighbors to voluntarily sign solar easements to ensure that proper sunlight is available to those who operate solar energy systems. Subdivisions may include solar easements applicable to all plots within the subdivision in their plans.
California Solar Shade Control Act
The Solar Shade Control Act encourages the use of trees and other natural shading except in cases where the shading may interfere with the use of active and passive solar systems on adjacent properties.
The Conservation Element of the City's General Plan encourages the integration of renewable energy sources into new and existing buildings and infrastructure. Such renewable energy sources can include rooftop and onsite solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar water heating systems, and wind energy systems.
City of Fremont Renewable Energy Ordinance
In 2012, the City passed a Renewable Energy Ordinance, now codified in Chapter 18.185 of the Municipal Code, to implement policies of the General Plan to facilitate renewable energy production, energy conservation, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In particular, the Renewable Energy Ordinance provides specific use allowances and flexibility in permitting for solar and wind energy systems, as well as other emerging technologies. Learn more about the specific resources available to help you go solar in the Solar Programs page.
Fremont Solar Capacity
As the cost to install of solar has continued to decline, the number of solar installations in Fremont has steadily grown. As of December 31, 2015, Fremont had 1,985 residential and 69 commercial sites equipped with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, totaling 18.9 Megawatts (MW) of power generating capacity. The graph below shows the cumulative installed capacity of solar in Fremont since 2001.