Expanded CA 33% RPS Law Clarifies Role of RECs

May 12, 2011

California Governor Brown signed a new renewable portfolio standard (RPS) into law in April 2011. The RPS increases the obligation of utilities to 33% renewables by 2020, and for the first time, places an obligation on publically owned utilities in addition to investor owned utilities. The law sets interim renewable targets of 20% by 2013 and 25% by 2016.

The new RPS law also clarifies the role that unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs) will play in meeting compliance. For purchases executed after June 1, 2010, unbundled RECs are allowed to contribute not more than 25% in the first compliance period (though 2013). The allowed percentage of unbundled RECs decreases to not more than 15% in the second compliance period (through 2016). After 2016, unbundled RECs are limited to not more than 10%.

Previously, regarding the 20% renewables by 2010 standard, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) determined that unbundled RECs could be used to meet no more than 25% of compliance through 2013.

News Release - Governor Brown Signs Legislation to Boost Renewable Energy