California Bill Requires Utilities to Buy Renewable Biomass and Biogas Power

Date: July 6, 2012

Source: News Room

California legislators are advancing a bill (SB 1122) that will require the state's three major electric investor-owned utilities to purchase 250 megawatts of electricity from small renewable biomass and biogas projects, a measure that expands an existing feed-in tariff program in the state. The bill is opposed by the utilities, which argue it is a misguided "carve-out" for biogas that will unfairly raise electricity prices on their ratepayers. The state is implementing the measure as part of a rulemaking to carry out its 33% renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which was signed into law last year. The tariff, required by the 2009 law SB 32, is considered a major step toward achieving Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) goal of installing 12,000 megawatts of distributed renewable energy generation by the end of 2020. Renewable energy mandates are a cornerstone of the state's strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

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