California Air Resources Board Suggests Feed-in Tariff

By Paul Gipe


In a 122 page report on how the Golden State can meet its proposed targets for greenhouse gas reduction, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has suggested that feed-in tariffs is one option that should be considered.

During the span of just one year, the possible use of feed-in tariffs to spur renewable energy development in California has gone from a “What’s a feed-in tariff?” to a central element in the public policy debate. The topic of feed in tariffs is now being discussed in proceedings at three agencies (the California Energy Commission, the Public Utility Commission, and the California Air Resources Board) as well as in the legislature.

CARB proposes feed-in tariffs as an option on page 45 of the lengthy document.

“Another key action that may help to achieve the renewable energy goals is to reduce the complexity and cost faced by small renewable developers in contracting with utilities to supply renewable generation. This is particularly important for projects offering below 20 megawatts of generation capacity. One such option may be a feedin tariff for all RPS-eligible renewable energy facilities up to 20 megawatts in size. This mechanism was recommended in CEC’s 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report. Such a tariff, set at an appropriate level, could benefit small-scale facilities by allowing them to be brought into the electricity grid more rapidly.”

CARB’s Scoping Plan is scheduled for formal adoption December 11, 2008.