On the 15th day of December, utility regulators unanimously approved a complex item attempting to clarify three renewable energy resource categories outlined in the law that raises the state\u2019s renewables portfolio standard from 20 percent to 33 percent. \u201cI think this is an auspicious start,\u201d California Public Utilities Commission member Mark Ferron said of his approved decision and this week\u2019s formal implementation of the state\u2019s 33 percent renewable mandate, SB1x-2. Ferron\u2019s fellow commissioners voted for his proposal because they agreed it was in sync with the legislative intent. But they pointed out what they viewed as inherent flaws. \u201cIt doesn\u2019t solve all the problems and probably will create some new ones,\u201d said commissioner Mike Florio. He noted, however, \u201cIt provides better than average justice.\u201d Jan Smutny-Jones, Independent Energy Producers executive director, warned of the \u201claw of unintended consequences\u201d arising from the decision\u2019s limits on renewable energy credit trading. It \u201cadds a significant market restriction,\u201d in particular on the trading of credits linked to in-state renewable energy generated on-site, which also could have qualified as a category one resource. The CPUC\u2019s decision attempts to draw a line in the sand between the three renewable categories so buyers and sellers of renewable power under contracts starting in June 2010 understand the exact nature of the product being traded. Much of the debate has been how to avoid muddying the line between the first and third categories. That is principally because resources fed into the grid--fossil or alternative--cannot be traced to the end user and they can be re-categorized. For example, when power received is stamped as category one, a utility can later seek to break off its renewable attribute and sell it to another utility. CPUC president Mike Peevey also objected to restrictions the decision places on trading of renewable energy credits, warning it would raise costs for ratepayers. He added it was \u201cpreferable to vote out this decision than prolong uncertainty for retail sellers.\u201d The first category set forth in SB1x-2 focuses on electricity from renewable supplies that connect directly into California via one of its balancing authorities or sends power into the state within an hour of scheduled delivery. At first, half the supplies are to come from these sources. By 2016, 65 percent of energy portfolios are to include this category, with that amount later rising to 75 percent. The second category encompasses firmed and shaped energy supplies. These resources are accompanied by a guaranteed commitment to provide a set amount of electricity over a set period of time to California consumers, though some of it could come from fossil fuel. In these cases, utilities get credit toward meeting the state\u2019s renewable energy standard only for the renewable portion of the total power delivered. The third category includes renewable energy credits, or the green attribute of the supply. The 33 percent renewable law caps the use of these renewable energy credits at a maximum of 25 percent of eligible supplies, which later drops to 10 percent. Deciding which of the three renewable buckets out-of \u2013state pipeline bio-methane fits into was postponed in order to give the California Energy Commission time to examine the matter.