Tuesday, November 14, 2006

California Debates Ownership of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

From Renewable Energy Access.com:

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) plans to propose a decision which would grant full ownership of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) to utility companies rather than give ownership of those certificates to the individuals (or companies) who install and own the solar power systems.

Opponents of the decision argue that giving certificates to utility companies will impede expansion of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) by removing one of the cost incentives for installing solar power systems.

Utility companies believe that the new decision is appropriate, and hope that the certificates can be used help satisfy their obligations under California's renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS). They argue that if utilities were required to purchase the certificates back from individual solar system owners, state ratepayers would pay twice for the systems - once through the surcharge on electricity rates, which the state uses to subsidize the installation of renewable energy projects, and then again when utilities buy the SRECs back from solar system owners, as those purchase costs will be passed along to ratepayers (presumably through increased electricity rates).

The proposed decision is due out Today, November 14, 2006. Check the CPUC website latter today for a copy of the decision. There will be a 30 day comment period.

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