WEDNESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER, 2010 |
New U.S Renewable Electricity Standard Bill Introduced
Two U.S. senators have introduced bipartisan legislation designed to create the
first-ever national renewable electricity standard (RES) in the USA.
While a similar bill was passed last year by the U.S. House of Representatives
to set a renewable electricity standard, it stalled in the Senate. That bill was
part of a wider "oil-spill" bill that was dropped from the legislation
due to Republican resistance.
Under the new proposal, electricity generation companies would be mandated to
produce at least 11 percent of their power from wind
and other renewable sources and an additional 4 percent through energy
improvements by 2021. Last year's failed bill required a 20% renewable
While some progressive states already have a higher renewable electricity
standard, the legislation would apply to those that don't - but companies
selling under 4 million megawatt hours per year would be exempt.
The bill is championed by Senator Jeff Bingaman, who currently heads the Senate
Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Supporting the bill is Senator Tom
Udall, who believes the bill will create jobs and help the United States claw
back some of its previous standing in renewable energy related manufacturing.
Under the legislation, as with Australia's Renewable
(REC) and Renewable Energy Target (RET) system, a
certificate would be awarded for each renewable energy generated megawatt-hour
of electricity. Companies that generate more certificates than they need to
comply will be able to sell those to other companies that are short on their
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