A bill to create feed-in tariffs for the poor and the disadvantaged has passed the California Assembly, with a vote of 49 to 27.
The bill — the “Solar for All” bill, AB 1990, is the first significant action on feed-in tariffs in California during this current legislative session. It is also the first time in North America that advocates for the poor and disadvantaged have made a move for equal opportunity to develop renewable energy through the use of feed-in tariffs.
The bill was introduced by Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and is set to create feed-in tariffs for 375 megawatts of small-scale renewable generation specifically designated for disadvantaged communities.
Sponsored by the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), the bill has received support from over 70 non-governmental organisations, including Sierra Club California, Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), and Environment California.
Though CEJA dubs the legislation “Solar for All,” the bill itself calls for “clean energy contracts” from all “eligible renewable energy resources” in California. Here are more details:
- Project size cap: 500 kW
- Program cap: 375 MW by 2020 at a “regular annual pace”
- Term: minimum of 20 years
- Program launch: 2014
- Tariffs: “sufficient to stimulate the market” in low-income communities, create a diverse range of project sizes and achieve the environmental justice objectives
- Reporting: annual
- Administration and Rate Setting: Public Utility Commission (PUC) & local public utilities
- Cost recovery: ratepayers
- Cost cap: 0.375% of forecast retails sales in 2020
- “Eligible” Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, Municipal Solid Waste, Energy Storage, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Ocean Thermal, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels