Posts Tagged ‘California renewable portfolio standard’

CA 33% Renewable Target Onward!

Posted October 20th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

At the end of September, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously to approve a measure that would require entities delivering power to the state to acquire one-third of their power from renewable resources.

This measure is different than the existing 20% target in that it covers both investor-owned utilities and publicly owned utilities. The existing RPS comes under the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) while the CARB has a more far reaching mandate to regulated GHG emissions under A.B. 32.

Earlier in the month, the state legislature was unable to pass the 33% renewable portfolio standard into law. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office commented that the CARB’s approval carries the same legal weight as a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

CARB stated that the target is forecast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12-13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2020. In addition to the environmental impacts, the CARB and Governor Schwarzenegger expect the measure to incentivize and attract more clean energy project development to California. The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently approved a 392 megawatt solar thermal power plant to be constructed by BrightSource Energy LLC. Other projects are hurrying to receive approvals before the end of the year when federal stimulus incentives expire.

CARB, CPUC, CEC and CA’s independent system operator will all work closely to help implement the new standard. The measure targets a phased approach with 20% by 2012, 24% by 2017, 28% by 2019, and 33% by 2020.

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California – State Senate Unable to Pass 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard Target

Posted September 2nd, 2010 by SRECTrade.

On August 31st, the California state senate was unable to vote on the country’s most aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program due to the session coming to at close at midnight. The bill, SB 722, which passed the state assembly, would have required California to produce 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Governor Schwarzenegger had made it clear he would not have signed the bill even if it passed the senate. The governor’s main concerns were that SB 722 did not allow for enough electricity to be imported from out of state. Additionally, the Governor wanted the bill to include a solution to streamline California’s siting and permitting process for renewable energy projects. Back in June, the Governor commented that he would not, “sign legislation mandating a higher requirement without ensuring that the┬ánecessary projects can be built.”

The two main arguments here have to do with developing a vibrant renewable energy market in the state of California while also maintaining competitive electricity pricing. Importing electricity from outside of California doesn’t help increase the number of in state jobs required to build the renewable energy projects needed to meet the 33% RPS target. On the other hand, allowing for greater amounts of electricity to come from out of state will increase competition and hopefully keep prices down, something to be mindful of considering the current economic environment in California.

While Governor Schwarzenegger signed an executive order to reach the 33% target, the order could be over turned by any future governor. Although SB 722 didn’t pass, the governor could call a special session of the legislature to pass the bill before the upcoming election. This could be the only chance for the ambitious 33% target as both California Governor candidate Meg Whitman and U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina are opposed to it.

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