Solar, Wind Power

Solar Industry Urges Passage of Federal RPS

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today urged House and Senate Conferees to agree to an energy bill that includes a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would require utilities to expand their use of Renewable Energy sources over time. Conferees are currently meeting to discuss the bill, but there are no guarantees that agreement will be reached before Congress adjourns before election day.

Washington, D.C. – July 25, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today urged House and Senate Conferees to agree to an energy bill that includes a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would require utilities to expand their use of Renewable Energy sources over time. Conferees are currently meeting to discuss the bill, but there are no guarantees that agreement will be reached before Congress adjourns before election day. “A renewable portfolio standard would be a boon for our environment, our economy, and frankly, for the reelection prospects of those members of Congress who vote for it,” said Glenn Hamer, SEIA’s Executive Director. “Solar power is, not surprisingly, popular coast to coast. A federal RPS that recognizes the superior value of peak-load energy would be something every member could cheer about. We hope they get it done this year.” SEIA is recommending an RPS that recognizes the additional value of distributed renewables, either through a credit multiplier or a special band that guarantees a certain percentage of the RPS be derived from distributed renewables. States like Arizona and Nevada require a certain percentage of the portfolio to come from solar energy. Distributed renewables that shave peak load merit this enhanced treatment either through such a “portfolio within a portfolio,” or through a multiplier that provides additional credit for their additional value. The Senate-passed energy bill contains an RPS that provides double-credits for net metered renewables such as solar photovoltaics, small wind and solar thermal. Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman championed the provision. “Chairman Bingaman’s tenacious persistence made the RPS a key feature of the Senate energy bill,” said Hamer. “We hope the Conferees embrace Chairman Bingaman’s vision to strengthen our environment and economy through a federal RPS.”