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  • Published: Dec 30th, 2010
  • Category: USA
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Carbon emissions market may accelerate smart grid deployment

| Sourced From Telecomengine |

The first steps have been taken in a rule making process that will govern greenhouse gas emissions in California. While still in the drafting stage, the institution of such rules would encourage future smart grid projects.

The plan, conceived by the California Air Resources Board and dubbed AB 32, is to reduce emissions in California to 1990 levels by the year 2020, plus another 80% reduction by 2050. Other techniques include cleaner vehicle standards, low-carbon fuel production, and renewable and efficient electricity. The program is similar to Alaska’s system of annual payouts on oil dividends to each of its citizens.

The element of this initiative that may imply smart grid growth is called “offsets,” or, credit for reduced emissions. Offsets may be earned, for example, through carbon capturing forest projects or reducing methane at dairy farms.

With the implementation of AB 32, companies who deploy smart grids may also earn offsets, which may then be sold to less eco-friendly organizations. In this way, smart grid could transform from a way for utilities to save money, to a way for them to earn it. The potential doesn’t end there either, those utilities’ clients could also benefit. For example, a school or hospital that installs solar panels or diesel back-up generators may also earn valuable offsets.

Estimates place the size of California’s emissions market between $3 billion and a whopping $58 billion by 2020.

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