May 10, 2006

Renewable Electricity Standards Compared by State

Recognizing the challenge that making a major renewable energy shift is, 20 states have adopted Renewable Electricity Standards (RES) for electricity. These are requirements for states to gradually increase the amount of electricity derived from renewable energy resources. They generally include specific percentage targets to be achieved by a specific date.


Clean Energy
from the Union of Concerned Scientists

State leadership has demonstrated that an RES can reduce market barriers and stimulate new markets for renewable energy. Because renewable energy can help meet critical national goals for fuel diversity, price stability, economic development, our environment, and energy security, an RES should play a vital role in America’s national energy policy.

Which States have an RES?

To date, 20 states and Washington D.C. have implemented minimum renewable energy standards.1 On Election Day 2004, Colorado voters passed the first-ever RES ballot initiative requiring the state’s utilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015. Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. also enacted minimum renewable electricity standards since the beginning of 2004. Eight states enacted an RES as part of legislation that deregulated electricity generation, and 13 states enacted standards outside of utility restructuring. In August 2005, Texas created the second-largest new renewable energy market in the country, behind only California, when the state increased its requirement from 2,880 megawatts (MW) by 2009 to 5,880 MW by 2015. Several other states—including Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—have also revisited and increased or accelerated their standards.


Some samples (excerpted from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) website):

On September 12, 2002, Governor Gray Davis signed a bill (SB 1078) requiring California to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy no later than 2017. The new law requires sellers of electricity at retail to increase their use of renewable energy by 1 percent per year. In 2005, state regulators expressed a desire to accelerate the timeline and meet the RPS by 2010. The Governor has endorsed this accelerated schedule and has set a goal of achieving a 33 percent RPS by 2020 for the state as a whole. More...

In July 2005, the Texas Legislature doubled their previous goal for the amount of wind power, solar power and other forms of renewable energy in the state's energy mix. The new portfolio standard calls for the state to obtain 5,880 MW, or about five percent of the state's electricity, from renewable energy by 2015. Of the total, 500 MW must come from renewable energy sources other than wind energy. More...

On June 8, 2001, Nevada enacted the country’s most aggressive renewable portfolio standard at the time. The law required that 15 percent of all electricity generated be derived from new renewables by the year 2013. Five percent of the RPS must be from solar energy projects. In June 2005, Nevada raised the requirements of the RPS to 20 percent of sales by 2015. The bill also allows certain energy efficiency measures to qualify for up to one-quarter of the total standard in any particular year. More...

New Mexico
In early March 2004, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed into law a measure (SB 43) that requires investor-owned electric utilities to produce or buy increasing amounts of renewable energy. Renewables must make up 5 percent of the utilities' sales by 2006, and 10 percent by the year 2011. The law leaves a tiny hole that would allow utilities to ignore the new law through a provision for a PRC-established "reasonable cost threshold" beyond which a utility would not be required to add renewable energy to its energy supply portfolio. More...

New York
In September 2004, The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted a renewable energy portfolio standard that requires 25 percent of the state's electricity to be supplied from renewable energy sources by 2013. The NY RPS will require about 3,700 megawatts (MW) of new renewable fueled electricity projects to come on-line between 2006 and 2013. The NY RPS also requires a portion of the renewables to come from customer-sited generation. More...

The Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) adopted an Environmental Portfolio Standard in 2001 that required utilities to have 1.1 percent of sales from renewables by 2007. The program did not work. A new plan was announced in August 2005. The ACC’s new plan will require utilities to procure 15% of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2025. The ACC voted to require that 30% of the EPS requirement be met by local onsite renewables installed by homes and businesses.. More...

technorati , , , ,


Michael said...

Hey great article, I'm going to write a take on the same this week @ I'll credit this as the source.


C. Scott Miller said...

Michael -

Thanks! I like cross-state comparisons because we have 50 labs trying to resolve the same issues with varying results. Once a good solution is found, it could be applied nationally.

I looked at for the first time. Somebody's been busy! I am subscribing to its Alternate Energy feed and have added it to my Links listing.

Michael said...