Saturday, May 26, 2007

EnergyNet Special Update: State Renewable Electricity Standards

From Union of Concerned Scientists:

Recently, there's been a flurry of state-level action to advance clean, renewable energy resources such as wind, bioenergy, and solar. Below, we provide an update on the latest activity and introduce several new and updated Union of Concerned Scientists resources for renewable energy advocates, policy makers, researchers, and concerned citizens, including the
Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit—a user-friendly resource for learning about and tracking state standards.

State-level Action on Renewable Energy

Already this year, Minnesota, New Mexico, and most recently, Colorado have significantly boosted their renewable electricity standards—requiring electric providers to gradually increase the amount of energy they supply from renewable sources. Both Colorado and New Mexico increased their standards for investor-owned utilities to 20 percent by 2020, and set a 10 percent by 2020 standard for other utilities. In Minnesota, the legislature adopted a 30 percent by 2020 standard for Xcel Energy (the state's largest utility) and a 25 percent by 2025 standard for all other utilities. These expansions reflect a growing trend in state level renewable electricity standards as 10 states have now increased or accelerated their requirements since 2005.

UCS projects that the 21 states and the District of Columbia that have already adopted renewable electricity standards are on track to reduce their global warming pollution by 108 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2020—an amount equivalent to taking 17.7 million cars off the road. The recent clean energy victories in Colorado, Minnesota, and New Mexico, which together account for 20 MMT of CO2 reductions by 2020, helped put the states over the 100 MMT milestone.

By 2020, UCS also projects the state standards will produce more than 46,000 megawatts of clean, renewable power, enough to meet the needs of 28.5 million typical homes. State renewable electricity standards are expanding, with at least 10 more states—including California, Illinois, and Michigan—considering adopting a requirement or raising an existing one. The success of state renewable electricity standards is helping build momentum for a federal standard of 20 percent by 2020. The federal standard would increase renewable energy output nearly four times over current state standards. Urge your senators to support a national renewable energy standard.

New and Updated Resources Available from UCS

Renewable Electricity Standard Toolkit

To help track state standards, UCS has developed a new, one-stop resource, the Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit. The toolkit includes summaries of all 22 standards as well as maps illustrating existing standards and projections for future renewable energy development. In addition, it features a database with detailed information about state standards ranging from how renewable energy technologies are defined to how standards are enforced. The toolkit also makes it easy to evaluate how the standards compare with each other overall and on key elements, and to access legislation and regulatory documents.

UCS Fact Sheet: U.S. Department of Energy Study Shows State Renewable Electricity Standards Are Affordable

This new UCS fact sheet summarizes a recent analysis from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that compares the results from 28 state or utility-level renewable electricity standard cost studies. The report finds that 70 percent of the studies reviewed project retail electricity rate increases of no greater than one percent. Six of the studies result in cost savings for electricity consumers.

UCS Fact Sheet: Renewable Electricity Standards at Work in the States

The newly updated fact sheet provides summary information on state-level renewable electricity standard activity, including which states have a standard, projections of new development, and how several of the states are doing in achieving their requirements so far.

UCS Fact Sheet: Successful Climate Solutions - Renewable Electricity Standards

The newly updated fact sheet provides information on how states are demonstrating the potential of the renewable electricity standard as a successful strategy for reducing CO2 emissions. Details on how a national renewable electricity standard could significantly increase climate benefits is also provided.


Ron said...

It's great they are doing this, but by 2020 they are signing someone else up to do it. Here in Colorado where we have 300 days of sunshine a year and the differences in air pressure provided by the mountains we should have solar and wind energy providing most of our energy and we don't. It's a weak plan and just enough to shut people up who want alternative energy.

CyberCelt said...

@ron-I am with you. Wind, solar and geothermal energy is the way to go. But, we must recognize any step in the right direction.

green energy guy said...

I must agree with Ron!
The solution is not in the hands of politicians. They should step aside and just let the industry to develop small, private sources of green energy, like small solar panels, and let the market do th job - it will be much faster.

homemade wind generator user said...

I really wish that US government would focus on individuals, since its obvious to me that when US would fund households who build their own homemade energy resources, then the market and companies would start to develop wind generators, solar panels and etc such for household use.


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