This page last reviewed on December 19, 2016
In September 2006, Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the California Global Warming Solutions Act, was signed into law. AB 32 requires the Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) in coordination with other agencies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). ARB assists local air districts to control the emission of criteria pollutants from electrical generation equipment. ARB also certifies some distributed generation technologies as eligible for sale in the State pursuant to Senate Bill 1298 (SB 1298).
ARB is also coordinating with the State's energy agencies to provide comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) on its Clean Power Plan, an effort by the federal government to lower carbon emissions from the electricity sector.
For more information regarding ARB's Energy Activities click on "Contact Us" on the left navigation bar.
Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS):
Senate Bill 2, Simitian, Statutes 2011, 1st Extraordinary Session (SB 2) and Senate Bill 350, De Leon, Statutes of 2015, (SB 350) generally make the requirements of the Renewables Portfolio Standard applicable to local publicly owned electric utilities (with the utility governing boards responsible for implementing those requirements) and direct the California Energy Commission and Air Resources Board to enforce those provisions. ARB staff is collaborating with Energy Commission and California Public Utility Commission staff to develop a program to carry out those responsibilities.
U.S. EPA's Proposed Rules to Regulate Power Plants
Under the federal Clean Air Act the U.S. EPA has proposed a rule to limit carbon emissions from future (Section 111(b)) and existing (Section 111(d)) fossil-fueled power plants. ARB is collaborating with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop a response to U.S. EPA on its proposed Clean Power Plan. The public is invited to participate in workshops and provide comments.
AB 1900 - Biomethane Renewable Resources:
AB 1900 (Chapter 602, Statutes of 2012) requires the CPUC to develop standards for constituents in biogas to protect human health and pipeline integrity and safety. In support of the CPUC standards development efforts, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and ARB, in consultation with other State agencies, are to undertake certain actions including determining health protective measures for constituents of concern and identifying monitoring, testing, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements necessary to ensure that health protective levels are maintained.
Renewable Electricity Standard (RES):
AB 32 creates a comprehensive, multi-year program to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Established in Executive Order S-21-09, ARB, under its AB 32 authority, was directed adopt a regulation requiring a 33 percent renewable energy target by 2020. While ARB developed the RES, it was superseded by SB X1-2 in 2011. More information about the RES and the State's renewables portfolio standard (RPS) is found in the links below.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems:
AB 32 also directs ARB to prepare a Scoping Plan detailing methods to meet its GHG emission reduction goal. One of the possible emission reductions measures contained within ARB's Scoping Plan would increase the use of combined heat and power (CHP) systems. CHP refers to any system that generates electricity and useful thermal energy.
Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) for Gas Insulated Switchgear:
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is one of the most very potent greenhouse gases, with a global warming potential approximately 23,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2). ARB staff developed a regulation to reduce of SF6 emissions from gas insulated switchgears.
SB 1298 (statutes of 2000) required ARB to adopt a certification program for Distributed Generation (DG) units that are exempt from local air district permits and to issue guidance for DG units that are subject to district permit. Currently, the CPUC and CEC are working to streamline state interconnection processes for DG.
Fuel Cell Net Energy Metering, Greenhouse Gas Emission Standard:
Assembly Bill 1637, Low, Statutes of 2016, (AB 1637) modified and extended the existing Fuel Cell Net Energy Metering Program, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). AB 1637 directs ARB to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for fuel cell customer-generators who elect to participate in the program.