REMA Recommendations Secure Role for Voluntary Green Power in California's Cap and Trade

The California Air Resources Board has formally adopted REMA-recommended guidelines for incorporating voluntary purchases of renewable energy within the new emissions trading program

The Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) today applauded the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) adoption of the state's final cap-and-trade regulation. On October 20, 2011, CARB voted unanimously to implement the emissions trading program, which included a REMA-recommended mechanism that recognizes the value voluntary renewable energy purchases have in preventing the release of emissions.

"REMA's engagement with CARB over the past three years has been consistent, constructive, and effective—as demonstrated by CARB's treatment of voluntary green power," said REMA General Manager Josh Lieberman. "Voluntary purchases of green power, whether through a utility green power program or from a green power marketer, allow residents, businesses, and other organizations to go above and beyond what is required by law. In California, CARB's VRE Reserve Account is the vehicle that protects the voluntary purchases of these customers."

REMA began emphasizing the importance of the voluntary market in 2008 and was pleased to see CARB recognize its value in the 2008 Scoping Plan and 2010 cap and trade analysis (Climate Change Scoping Plan and the Proposed Regulation to Implement the California Cap-and-Trade Program, respectively). Throughout 2011, REMA engaged with CARB staff to provide recommendations on the most effective methods to integrate voluntary renewable energy purchases into the emission reductions under CARB's cap-and-trade program. The end result is a cap-and-trade program with well-designed recognition and protections for voluntary market participants.

"Thanks to CARB's staff and Board Members – and stakeholders such as the Center for Resource Solutions – individuals, companies, and organizations will now help California lead the nation in clean, renewable energy," said Lieberman.

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