Over the past few decades, interest in the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on global climate change has peaked. Increasing temperatures worldwide have been blamed for numerous negative impacts on agriculture, weather, forestry, marine ecosystems, and human health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that the primary GHG emitted in the U.S. is carbon dioxide (CO2), most of which stems from fossil fuel combustion [1]. In fact, CO2 represents approximately 85% of all GHG emissions nationwide. The other primary GHGs include nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), and fluorinated gases. Since the energy sector is responsible for a majority of the GHGs released into the atmosphere, policies that address their mitigation through the production of electricity using renewable fuels and distributed generation are of significant interest. Use of renewable fuels and clean technologies to meet energy demand instead of relying on traditional electrical grid systems is expected to result in fewer CO2 and CH4 emissions, hence reducing global climate change impacts. Technologies considered cleaner include photovoltaics, wind turbines, and combined heat and power (CHP) devices using microturbines or internal combustion engines. The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) in California [2] provides incentives for the installation of these technologies under certain circumstances. This paper assesses the GHG emission impacts from California’s SGIP during the 2005 program year by estimating the reductions in CO2 and CH4 released when SGIP projects are in operation. Our analysis focuses on these emissions since these are the two GHGs characteristic of SGIP projects. Results of this analysis show that emissions of GHGs are reduced due to the SGIP. This is because projects operating under this program reduce reliance on electricity generated by conventional power plants and encourage the use of renewable fuels, such as captured waste heat and methane.

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