The Renewable Energy Standard being developed by the California Air Resources Board would largely track the state\u2019s 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standards law\u2019s parameters, but some public power agencies may get temporary exemptions. \u201cIf any changes are made to the [Renewable Portfolio Standard] we\u2019ll try to capture it in the renewable energy standards,\u201d said Gary Collard, air specialist with the Air Board\u2019s energy division. He spoke during a February 2 Air Board workshop outlining approaches for carrying out economic, technical, and environmental analyses under the regulations setting a 33 percent renewable rule. Collard added, however, that the board may allow munis to continue counting towards their alternative power portfolio resources not categorized as renewable under state law. These so called \u201cuncertified resources\u201d include large hydropower, biomass generation backed by fossil-fueled power, and renewable energy credits, which represent the green attribute of power projects that are sold separately from generating capacity. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is one of the proponents of this approach. It wants power from its big dam project to count as green energy under the Air Board\u2019s upcoming 33 percent renewable standard. Under current state renewable energy law, hydropower 30 MW or larger does not qualify as green power. \u201cSubstantially all\u201d of the commission\u2019s power comes from the greenhouse-gas-free Hetch Hetchy hydropower complex, the commission told the Air Board January. 29. The city should not be required \u201cto displace\u201d this low-cost energy with more expensive solar, wind, or geothermal power, the muni said, since it won\u2019t result in any change in greenhouse gases. Air Board staff noted that munis could count carbon light power that doesn\u2019t qualify under state law for a limited time. Counting would terminate, for example, with an expiration of a power contract or when an agency expands the resource at issue--such as augmenting large hydropower facilities. In flux is the Air Board\u2019s exemption threshold for small utilities. Excluding utilities that provide 500 GWh or less would leave 31 of the state\u2019s 72 utilities in the program, representing more than 98 percent of utility load, according to Collard. If the carve out were to apply to utilities providing less than 100 GWh, 99.7 percent of the utility load would be regulated. The carve-out aims to avoid unduly burdening small utilities with high administrative costs and higher bills for their ratepayers. The agency also has not decided whether to include the Department of Water Resources and the federal Western Area Power Administration among those regulated under its rules. If they are covered, the Air Board would have to develop an alternative regulatory approach, said Collard. Also undecided, said that board\u2019s staff, is whether to measure estimated greenhouse gas savings from replacing fossil fuel fired generation with alternative resources via a MWh or greenhouse gas metric. Another key issue unresolved is how to handle renewable energy credits and whether the rules should include a deliverability requirement. Public and private utilities were expected to meet the state\u2019s 20 percent renewable standard in 2010, but the deadline was pushed back to 2013, which is noted in the draft 33 percent standard proposal. After that, the renewable level in the Air Board\u2019s draft rule for utilities ratchets up over the next seven years to meet the one-third target by 2020.