Golden Gate University Law Review


Ida Martinac


This comment discusses the current debate over whether or not to unbundle Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and concludes that no regulatory or legislative decision can be made without careful consideration of the potential adverse environmental impacts of unbundling upon disadvantaged communities. Part I explains the concept of Distributed Generation, its history and its importance for the electrical utility industry, paying particular attention to renewable Distributed Generation. Next, it describes the role of the CPUC in the argument regarding REC bundling. This part also examines legislative efforts undertaken to deal with the evolving relationship between renewable energy generators, Distributed Generators and the Investor Owned Utilities (hereinafter "IOU"). Part I concludes with an exploration of the interplay between regulatory and market approaches to solving various problems in California's recent power industry history. Part II analyzes the pros and the cons of bundled RECs as they relate to REC trading, ratepayers and owners of residential photovoltaic systems. Part III first analyzes environmental justice issues in the context of unbundling RECs, and then proposes that the California Legislature pass the newly introduced Senate Bill 107.