2013 Alternative Energy Legislative Roundup: California Continues to Move Forward on Clean Energy


California continued to add to its steady stream of laws and regulatory actions to promote renewable energy and clean technologies with significant new legislation on net metering and community solar projects. While AB 177 (Perez) – a two-year bill which would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from 33 percent to 51 percent – has been in committee since June, AB 327 sets the stage for an expansion of the RPS by changing the 33 percent standard from a ceiling to a floor.

On the regulatory front, an October decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a first-of-its-kind 1.325 gigawatt energy storage procurement requirement for the state’s investor-owned utilities. The California Air Resources Board opened its 2013 update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan with a focus on planning for the state’s policy goal of reducing greenhouse emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 which could require a virtually carbon-free electricity sector and an electrified transportation system. The continuing discussion and debate on the clean energy future for the state ensures that the markets will continue to evolve and expand over the coming years with additional legal and regulatory developments.

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