Senate introduces stand alone renewable energy standard bill

Sponsored by

Washington, D.C., September 23, 2010 — Following the failure of previous energy legislation in Congress, a bipartisan group of six Senators introduced a bill to establish a federal renewable energy standard.

Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced the Renewable Electricity Promotion Act.

The proposed legislation would install a renewable portfolio standard (or renewable electricity standard, in D.C. parlance) requiring states to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021.

Electricity retailers that sell fewer than 4 million MWh are exempted from the bill's standard. Qualifying generation technologies under the bill are wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, hydrokinetic and new hydropower at existing dams.

There are currently 36 states in the Union that already have some form of renewable portfolio standard, alternative energy portfolio standard or renewable energy goal, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

These “patchwork” state-level standards vary widely in their target dates, generation targets and technologies that count toward the goal.

North Carolina’s RPS, for example, requires a 12.5 percent renewable energy standard by 2021, and allows solar power, wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, wave and tidal energy, biomass and energy efficiency.

New York’s RPS has the goal of 25 percent renewable generation by 2013, and allows biomass, biofuel, hydro, solar, ocean, wave, tidal and wind.

States that lack renewable energy plans are Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Alaska.

Early critics of the Senate legislation point out that the targets set by the act are actually lower than the amount of non-hydro renewable electricity already being generated today.

These sources increased 13 percent during the first six months of 2010 over the amount generated during the first half of 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Wind-generated electricity increased by 21.4 percent; electricity from solar thermal and photovoltaics rose by 16.4 percent; wood & other forms of biomass rose by 4.5 percent; and geothermal output increased by 0.8 percent.

Efforts by Democrats to push forward the Senate’s major climate change bill, which included a cap-and-trade mechanism to lower carbon dioxide emissions, stalled in mid-July after the bill failed to attract Republican support.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) introduced more modest legislation without a federal RPS or cap and trade in the Senate in late July. However this bill also failed to attract the bipartisan support needed to move it forward.

President Barack Obama, who set his goal as a candidate on a federal RPS of 25 percent by 2025, has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide directly if no legislative fix is possible. In response, the EPA has issued rules requiring power plants to obtain permits for their carbon dioxide emissions.

Sponsored by


SolarCity: Buffalo factory to make efficient solar panels


New York is spending $750 million to build a 1 million-square-foot manufacturing plant for SolarCity

India agrees to cut carbon intensity as part of climate change pledge


The world's No. 3 polluter currently gets 60 percent of its power from coal

Package causes explosives scare at Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant


The vehicle was just outside what the district called the protected area of the power plant 

Siemens snags wind turbine order for 151 MW Oklahoma wind power project


Installation of the turbines is scheduled to begin in October 2015    

Calpine closes purchase of Champion Energy


Calpine purchased the business from a unit of Crane Champion Holdco    

Saft will add energy storage to BrightSource concentrating solar power project

10/02/2015 Under this contract Tadiran will provide rechargeable energy packs to power more than 50,000 controllable mirrors 

WeatherBug, Honeywell, Nest, Samsung launch app for home energy efficiency


Consumers can now connect to their preferred smart home services 

View more Job Listings >>



How certified T&D components help to improve power network performance

Electricity is the life blood of modern society. Any interruption to its supply can have a huge i...

Moisture in Transformer Oil Behavior – a Deeper Look into a Complex Phenomenon

As our understanding of how moisture movement in transformers improves, so does the evolution of ...

Connecting the Physical and Digital Domains: Intelligent Integration for a Smart City

Free Webcast Series from Leidos | Part 2 of 2 - Connecting the Physical and Digital Domains: Inte...

Leveraging Intelligent Infrastructure to Achieve Your Smart City Vision

Free Webcast Series from Leidos | Part 1 of 2 - Leveraging Intelligent Infrastructure to Achieve ...

Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetration mean to you as a utili...



Aurora™ is a proprietary blend of alumino-silicate based minerals engineered to treat a boiler's fireside system against slagging, fouling and corr...

Swage Bus Accessories

By using a compression technology process called "swaging," aluminum bus accessories can be installed without a welder. Products include bus couple...

Decontamination & Decommissioning

Decommissioning strategy development, cost estimates, plant modifications; system and building decontamination; RV segmentation; large component re...

Nuclear Horizontal Modular Storage (NUHOMS®)

AREVA TN’s NRC-licensed NUHOMS® system ensures the highest safety and lowest dose performance. With no tipping, tripping and sliding, you have the...


LD Poles

The standard designs and high-strength material used in the fabrication of our Light Duty steel poles insures confidence t...

Standard H-Frames

Meyer Steel Structures has compiled a database of existing steel H-frame designs that could be used to quickly meet your n...

Meyer - Engineered Poles

As your comprehensive resource for any configuration of tubular steel structure, Meyer works closely with you to develop e...

Systems & Utility Technology Selection

BRIDGE’s utility business and functional system experts with specific experience in today’s ‘best of breed’ business syste...

POWERGRID International

May 2015
Volume 20, Issue 5


April 2015
Volume 93, Issue 2