Hearing Scheduled for Maryland’s RPS Law

February 26, 2004 [] Maryland House Bill 1308, that would create a statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), has been assigned to the House Economic Matters Committee with a hearing scheduled for March 2, according to Michael Busch, Speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates. Busch said the legislation is the result of numerous meetings between industry representatives and the environmental community. As with other state RPSs the bill would require electricity suppliers in the state to source renewable energy technologies, like solar, wind, geothermal at a certain (and likely very low) percentage. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) this RPS does not include solar-set aside language such as in place in Arizona, Nevada, and New Jersey and which is being considered in several other states. Regardless, even a tiny RPS helps drive construction of new renewable energy projects throughout the state. Renewable energy is increasingly viewed positively for more than just the environmental benefits. Busch said, “In addition to protecting future generations of Marylanders, this initiative will serve as a much-needed economic development tool for the State, particularly in our rural western counties.”