With about 31 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Proposition 7 "no" votes had 65 percent of the vote.
The measure called for an increase in renewable power by about 2 percent of electricity generation a year until it reached 40 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025.
Opponents called the measure well-meaning but ill-conceived and that it would constrict rather than expand renewable power generation in California.
Currently, about 13 percent of California's power is generated by renewable sources including solar and wind.
California has a goal of 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010, which the state's utilities are not expected to meet.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports a 33 percent renewables goal by 2020.
Environmentalists teamed with major utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric Co and Southern California Edison in a campaign to defeat the measure.