Bioenergy, Energy Efficiency, Geothermal, Hydropower, Project Development, Solar, Wind Power

House Passes Climate Bill Including National RPS

Late last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-212 to pass the American Clean Energy & Security Act. The new climate legislation includes a National Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) provision, mandating that investor owned utilities buy a minimum of 15% of their energy from renewable sources.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said that it supports the bill, however they would like to see a stronger version of the RPS.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Chairmen Waxman and Markey and other supporters on Capitol Hill to strengthen the RES and take advantage of the historic opportunity to create new American manufacturing jobs that is presented by the rapid expansion of the global wind energy industry. We urgently need a strong RES to remain competitive with Europe and China, both of which have strong and binding renewable energy commitments, in the race to secure those jobs,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

The draft also contains provisions to facilitate the deployment of a smart grid, including measures to reduce utility peak loads through smart grid and demand response applications and to help promote smart grid capabilities in new home appliances.

It also directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reform the regional planning process to modernize the electric grid and provide for new transmission lines to carry electricity generated from renewable sources.

An energy efficiency title in the bill provides incentives and creates program to increase energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation and industry.

To read a summary of the bill as it was reported out of committee before the the House vote, click here.