California Renewable Energy Policy and Implementation Issues -- An Overview of Recent Regulatory and Legislative Action --

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This paper has three primary goals: (1) to provide a brief account of recent events in California renewables policy; (2) to outline the California State Legislature's ultimate decision on renewable energy policy; and, (3) to aid other states in their efforts with renewables policy by summarizing some of the key implementation issues and political conflicts that may occur when crafting renewables support mechanisms within the restructuring process. We begin by describing some of the potential threats and opportunities that electricity restructuring presents to the development of renewable energy. We then outline the renewables policy debate in California since the CPUC's "Blue Book," including both regulatory and legislative developments. We also provide some insight into the MRPR vs. surcharge-based renewables policy debate in California. Finally, we identify and discuss key renewables policy implementation issues that have driven the dialogue and recent decisions in California's renewables policy.

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