Gino DiCaro

Combustible engines cut from self-generation legislation

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Aug. 18, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Recent amendments to AB 2778 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) remove fossil fuel combustion technologies from the Self-Generation Incentive program (SGIP), although a compromise on the bill may be in the works.

This bill extends the SGIP to 2012 with the following changes: (1) starting next year, solar applications will be financed through the recently-enacted California Solar Initiative; (2) for the 12-month period starting in 2007, combustion-operated projects which use fossil fuels must meet efficiency and emission standards; and (3) beginning in 2008, the SGIP is limited to fuel cells, wind and qualified waste gas applications.  

With the recent amendments, CMTA dropped its support for the bill and took an oppose position.

AB 2778 eliminates the most efficient technologies within SGIP, including natural gas combined heat and power (CHP) - technologies that provide significant environmental benefits to California.  Natural gas-fueled CHP reduces the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power generation by up to 65 percent compared to a typical power plant. According to the 2005 California Energy Commission Integrated Energy Policy Report natural gas CHP is the most cost-effective form of distributed generation.

In recent days, however, there appears to be a possibility that the chief proponent of the recent amendments, Senator Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey), is considering compromise language that would strike the recent amendments and simply extend the program a few additional years.

The current SGIP ends January 1, 2008, although the California Public Utilities Commission has the authority to continue the program beyond 2008.  
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