Posting in Energy
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is slated to unveil a bill for a national renewable energy standard in Washington tomorrow afternoon.
A bipartisan group of senators has resurrected the notion of a renewable energy standard becoming law in the United States with the planned unveiling of a bill tomorrow, according to wire reports.
If the bill becomes law, state utilities would be required generate a target minimum of 15 percent of their total energy output from renewable sources by 2021. The exact energy mix is conditional (for now): Hydrogen is in, but nuclear power is out.
States will be given an allowance for up to 25 percent of the goal by furthering energy conservation, Reuters reports. The mandate would go into effect in 2012, but first most pass muster in the Senate amid a turbulent political climate.
The legislation is being brought to the floor as a standalone item by energy committee chair Democrat Jeff Bingaman, and Sam Brownback, a Republican. Earlier efforts to adopt the measure as an element of a comprehensive climate change bill stalled without debate.
Other Senators who are supporting the bill include Democrats Byron Dorgan and Tom Udall, and Republican Susan Collins, Bingaman's office told Reuters. Should the bill pass, the U.S. would be following the direction of China and Europe.
In 2007, China announced its “National Action Plan” plan for climate change, which includes targets for increasing it’s the proportion of electricity the country generates from renewable energy. A 2008 European Union directive called for each member state to increase its share of renewable energy.
Proponents of the standard, including a consortium of companies that produce wind turbines, have sought the mandate as a way to reduce reliance on hydrocarbons and kick start the adoption of clean energy technologies that may be developed and produced domestically.
Detractors have argued that a mandate would pass costs onto consumers and that some regions would be at a disadvantage to meet the federally imposed target.
Sep 20, 2010
15% is too low, that will be achieved with or without a mandate. Better than nothing, I suppose. Hydrogen isn't an energy source, it's an energy storage medium - it takes energy to make hydrogen. It shouldn't be in there; leads me to believe the drafters of this bill don't really understand the issue.
I was impressed by the commentary, entitled "learn from Portugal's renewable energy policy", stating that : With Portugal's active renewable energy policy, the residents in Lisbon have seen their electricity bills rise nearly 16% in the last five years. But as the initial investment expense decreases, and as the nature of fuel-free energy sources entails little maintenance costs, prices will plateau and eventually decrease. Meanwhile, British households have also faced a big rise in their bills ? 14% ? in the same five-year period, to the great delight of shareholders of private British energy firms.