California Cap and Trade Regulation Recognizes Voluntary Green Power

October 31, 2011

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) finalized the state's cap-and-trade regulation, which places declining limits on greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2013. The regulation establishes a Voluntary Renewable Electricity Reserve Account, which enables voluntary green power purchasers to continue to receive the carbon benefit of their green power purchase. The mechanism allows CARB to retire carbon allowances based on actual levels of voluntary green power purchasing. Retiring an allowance means that it cannot be used for other purposes, which lowers the level of the carbon cap.

Green power purchasers, or a participant acting on behalf of the purchaser, are required to request carbon allowance requirement by July 1 of each year. Eligible green power must be certified as RPS eligible by the California Energy Commission, or must meet design and installation standards for California's Solar Electric Incentive Programs.

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