CPUC Judge Favors CRS Definition of RECs
A small but telling example of CRS’s ability to positively influence energy policy took the form of a July 15 proposed decision at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The case will eventually determine if regulated utilities may apply the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to meet their 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) commitments. Currently, only completely bundled renewable electricity delivered into California’s grid is eligible, and the state’s utilities are having a hard time meeting their RPS goals by 2010. Being able to use RECs for RPS would both expand the regional renewables market and solidify California’s ability to maintain its clean-energy leadership.
Consistent with arguments made by CRS Legal Fellow Galen Lemei, CPUC administrative law judge Anne Simon's proposed order on RECs holds that, "A REC includes all renewable and environmental attributes associated with the production of electricity from the eligible renewable energy resource, including any avoided emissions of pollutants to the air, soil or water; any avoided emissions of carbon dioxide" and other greenhouse gases.
By defining a REC in this way, CRS believes the CPUC would not only prevent conflicts with the Legislature's intent that all environmental attributes be included in the unbundled REC for RPS compliance, but it would also preserve the integrity of renewable energy transactions in voluntary markets in the future—including Green-e Energy markets.
Although the full CPUC panel may modify Simon's ruling when it takes up the issue at next month’s business meeting, CRS is confident that our legal arguments will carry the day. Lead Staff: Galen Lemei
Businesses See the Light
The vast majority of companies in Green-e Marketplace find the Green-e logo important to demonstrate environmental leadership, effectively communicate with environmentally conscious consumers, and as a brand differentiator, according to results from a recent CRS survey.
While using the Green-e logo is clearly beneficial to their business, 75% of Green-e Marketplace participants see support of renewable energy as only one component of a multi-pronged commitment to environmental improvements. These initiatives include waste management, energy efficiency, carbon footprinting, and product design improvements. Participants are clearly not using the Green-e logo as a standalone strategy.
To see these and other results from the CRS survey of Green-e Marketplace participants, see the survey summary. Lead Staff: Orrin Cook
Renewables in the West
The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) is an agreement among the governors of eight Western states and territories to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. CRS has been working on a WCI renewable energy subcommittee to ensure that the final structure of this cap-and-trade program creates incentives for renewable energy development and gives credit to purchases in the voluntary market. Lead Staff: Jane Valentino
Time to Register for the 2008 National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference
Don't miss this year's conference, taking place in Denver, CO on October 26–29. For over a decade, the National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference has been the industry’s paramount annual gathering attended by leading renewable energy and green power industry stakeholders. Each year the most influential key players, including power marketers, renewable energy developers, retail and wholesale green power suppliers, electric utilities, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, energy consultants and nonprofit experts gather to listen to their peers present on the major issues facing the industry. This year's conference promises to be our largest yet. Sign up for limited sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities while they last! Lead Staff: Rachael Terada
Maps and More. Since its official launch in February, our Green-e Climate greenhouse gas offset certification program has been leading the effort to provide more transparency in the voluntary market. Over the last six months, we have seen more types of offset products being offered to U.S. consumers, and have certified several of them (including Luminant and Sterling Planet), expanding the options of certified carbon offsets.
We have also added an exciting new mapping feature on the Green-e Climate website. Interactive Google maps let you see where on the globe individual offset projects are located, letting consumers match the product content label of a certified product with the particular project the offsets are sourced from. Check them out on the Find Certified Offsets page.
The verification process is in full swing, and the 10th Annual Verification Report will be out in time for the National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference in Denver this October. In other news, Green-e Energy is working to help ensure that certified renewable energy sales in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states receive full credit against the regional emissions cap beginning in 2009. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]
Green-e Marketplace Featured Company: Lundberg Family Farms. Located in Richvale, CA, Lundberg Family Farms produce a wide variety of rices and rice products, while using advanced eco-farming practices.
This year Lundberg Family Farms purchased over 4,300 MWh of renewable
energy, enabling it to offset 100% of the electricity
use at its offices and processing facility with Green-e
Energy Certified RECs. The company communicates its commitment
to renewable energy by displaying the Green-e logo
on a number of products, including rice cakes, brown rice cereal, risottos, and rice
with its commitment to organic farming practices,
solar panel installations, participation in energy audit programs,
and lighting efficiency projects, Lundberg Family Farms is increasingly
recognized as an authentic environmental steward and pacesetter in
its industry. [Read more about Lundberg's farming practices] [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]
Welcome New Staff
Orrin Cook/Senior Analyst, Green-e Markeplace
Orrin brings a wide range of environmental experience from previous work experience in the carbon offset industry, community renewable energy development, water quality management, as well as forestry research. He received his Masters degree in Environmental Consultancy from the University of Leeds (U.K.) and holds a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley in Natural Resource Management.
Monica Ralston joined CRS in June 2008 as a summer intern, and works primarily with Green-e Energy on verification and RGGI research. She is also involved in policy and program research for Green-e Energy and Green-e Climate. In the past she worked as an administrative assistant for the Portland Water Bureau, and interned at the Climate Trust, a carbon offset provider. She enjoys the Vermont winters, French cheese, and almost any activity that takes her outdoors. This fall Monica will return to Middlebury College to complete a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus in Economics. After graduating she would like to continue working in the environmental sector, specifically on the issues of climate change and sustainability.
Justin Roth/Program Analyst, Green-e Marketplace
Justin started at the Center for Resource Solutions as a part-time intern, in October of 2007, while completing his undergraduate degree in Economics and minor in Environmental Studies at California State University, East Bay. As a student, Justin created and chaired the Environmental and Sustainability Committee, a subcommittee of the university student government Associated Students, Inc. In June 2007, Justin earned a scholarship to attend the third annual forum on climate change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY. Justin graduated June 2008 and joined CRS full-time in the Green-e Marketplace program as Program Analyst.
The Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund—commonly known as SV2—is a venture philanthropy partnership with a dual mission of increasing the philanthropic capacity of its donors and boosting the organizational capacity of its grantees. SV2 currently focuses its grantmaking in four main areas: education, environment, self-reliance (specifically foster youth) and international microfinance. Last year, the environment group's focus on climate change and desire to have an impact at the statewide level led the group to fund the Center for Resource Solutions and our work on AB32 and related policies. The $50,000 one-year grant was especially valuable in allowing us to respond quickly to some unanticipated issues in regulatory proceedings and at the State Legislature.
In September, SV2 celebrates its tenth anniversary of operations as a venture philanthropy partnership and this year received its 501(c)3 status to become an independent organization. SV2 also recently hired Lindsay Austin Louie as its new Executive Director, and added Stephanie Potter as an Associate staff member. [Learn more about SV2]
Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants
Welcome New Green-e Climate Participants
Welcome New Green-e Marketplace Participants
- Meeting of the Minds "Transportation at the Crossroads" symposium, July 30-31, 2008, Portland, OR. Arthur O'Donnell will be presenting and moderating a panel on "Tolls, Taxes, Technology and Takes on the New Carbon Economy".
- Carbon Markets USA, September 16-17, 2008, Washington, D.C. Staff will present on Green-e Climate.
- Energy in California Conference, September 22-23, 2008, San Francisco, CA. Jan Hamrin will be speaking on "Opportunities for the Financial Community: New Transmission; Power Plants, Renewables, GHG, Cap and Trade Issues."
- Solar Power 2008, October 14, 2008, San Diego, CA. Arthur O'Donnell will moderate a panel entitled "RECs: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" and will be conducting a workshop on a Solar Electric Power Association study in "New Solar Procurement Innovations."
- National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference 2008, October 27–29, 2008, Denver, CO. Staff will moderate panel discussions and be present at our booth at this biggest marketer's conference of the year. Stop by our booth to see what we've been up this year.