Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

Lung Groups Back Renewable Energy in California Legislation

The California Air Resources Board must encourage the “rapid development of clean, efficient and renewable power generation” in the state, according to the American Lung Association of California and the California Thoracic Society.

SACRAMENTO, California, US, 2001-12-05 [] The two groups strongly support action by CARB to adopt “stringent statewide standards” for distributed generation and small power generators. DG “represents a growing sector of the energy market that has not been well controlled in the past and are responsible for significant air pollution emissions.” “It is extremely important that CARB establish stringent pollution control standards for small generator units to ensure that small power generators are as clean or cleaner than the leading technologies for centralized power plants,” and the groups testified in support of proposed regulations before CARB to increase regulations. “There are now a wide variety of cleaner and renewable technologies becoming available for DG units including solar, wind and fuel cell technologies,” they said. “Strong standards for DG will encourage continued investment in clean power sources that can be developed in locations close to the place where the energy is needed, while assisting California to achieve air quality standards and increased energy security.” The groups endorsed the proposal of the Natural Resources Defense Council to enact a “single, aggressive, performance-based emissions standard for all DG units by 2003” and they urged CARB to “more directly recognize the greenhouse gas emission impacts and benefits” of stronger regulations, with DG standards designed to reward high efficiency technologies which reduce GHG emissions. They two health groups also urge CARB to provide strong enforcement to ensure that portable and back-up diesel generators cannot circumvent the rules and be used as DG units. They expressed extreme concern with the impact of toxic emissions from diesel back-up generators on air quality and public health, and urged the agency to move rapidly to address emissions from the “thousands of diesel BUGs throughout the state” and to establish regulations to control pollution emissions from diesel emergency generators. “The American Lung Association of California urges CARB to adopt the most stringent emission standards for small generators,” it concludes. “Pursuing clean and renewable sources for small power generators will help improve air quality and public health in California and promote the development and commercialization of zero and low-emitting power technologies.”