Consumer (Co-)Ownership in Renewables in California (USA)

  • Felicia van TulderEmail author
  • Sharon Klein
  • Erika Morgan


There were and are only a few support policies focusing directly on consumer (co-)ownership. California Senate Bill 1 of 2006 set a renewable distributed generation target of 12 GW installed capacity by 2020, which included 3 GW for self-generation to be realized through the California Solar Initiative. California is one of 17 US states with a virtual net metering policy which, however, is restricted to adjacent or contiguous properties, unlike other states that allow aggregation within a utility territory. CCAs there is no opportunity for consumer ownership, no sharing of tax credits, no consumer involvement in pricing, governance or project-related decisions. California’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) model adopted in 2002 empowered municipalities and other units of government, that is, counties, and associations of cities, counties and other public entities, to take control of the procurement of electricity supply in their territory. CCAs can also incentivise consumer-owned RES with enhanced NEM and/or FITs and have the potential to offer additional financing options. All California’s operating CCAs state the goal of progressively increasing their ownership of RE plants to meet their customers' requirements for renewable electricity supply. More general, participation in RE projects is possible via any available type of corporation, partnership or individual business activity, similar to those in other countries. Cooperatives as a legal vehicle are available but not common. Investments in solar collectors and photovoltaic installations on private buildings, often facilitated by municipalities making use of state financing programs, are gaining in popularity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felicia van Tulder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sharon Klein
    • 2
  • Erika Morgan
    • 3
  1. 1.Kelso ProfessorshipEuropean University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany
  2. 2.School of EconomicsUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  3. 3.Energetic Management AssociatesSan DiegoUSA

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