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Opinion
Liam Denning

PG&E Reneging On Renewables Contracts Makes No Sense

It wouldn’t cut costs for the utility or ratepayers and would make doing business more difficult.

The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) logo on a truck is visible through raindrops on a window.

The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) logo on a truck is visible through raindrops on a window.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

Utilities and renewable-energy advocates have long had a complicated relationship. Yet the prospect of PG&E Corp. tipping into bankruptcy by the end of January has sent shivers through the solar-and-wind sector.

California has ambitious clean-energy targets, codified in SB 100, the law passed last year committing the state to reach 100 percent zero-carbon power by 2045. As such, PG&E has a large portfolio of long-term agreements to buy power from third-party renewable-energy projects; commitments totaled $36.7 billion at the end of 2017.