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New U.S Renewable Electricity Standard Bill Introduced


by Energy Matters

USA Renewable Energy Standard
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 energy, solar power and other renewable sources and an additional 4 percent through energy efficiency improvements by 2021. Last year's failed bill required a 20% renewable energy contribution.
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 Energy Certificate (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 targets.


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