House Committee Unveils Plans For Revised RES

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Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee have released the details of an agreement on a combined energy efficiency standard and renewable electricity standard.

The agreement provides for a combined 20% renewable energy and energy efficiency standard by 2020. By 2020, utilities would be required to obtain 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources and demonstrate annual electricity savings of 5% from energy efficiency measures.

If the governor of a state determines that utilities in the state cannot meet the 15% renewable requirement, however, the governor may reduce the renewable requirement to 12% and increase the efficiency requirement to 8%, according to the House committee.

In addition, Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., told the New York Times that the revised version of the standard contains other compromise measures, such as not counting new nuclear plants and coal-fired power with carbon capture and storage in the baseline amount of utility power sales by which increases of renewables are measured. Eligibility rules for biomass and municipal solid waste as renewable energy were also incorporated in the new version of the legislation.

‘This combined renewable energy and energy efficiency standard will drive the deployment of clean energy from solar, wind, geothermal and biomass resources and promote cost-effective investments in energy efficiency,’ says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.Â

‘The revisions which are being made to the RES appropriately recognize regional differences by making necessary improvements to expand the list of qualifying fuels and to lower the alternative compliance payment,’ adds Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. ‘With these vital changes, I believe that we have created a balanced and responsible policy to advance deployment of renewable electricity, and I am pleased with the product we are able to put forward on this issue.’

SOURCES: U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, New York Times

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