States already pulling their weight in promoting renewables

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 08:11 AM
posted by rene5432

States have proven so successful in promoting the development of renewable electricity that national policy has been made irrelevant to an extent, one expert told AOL Energy.

One of the key policies the U.S. has used to encourage utilities to invest in clean energy is the so-called renewable portfolio standard. These standards require that utility companies provide a certain proportion of their electricity from renewable sources.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency reports that 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all impose such standards, and another eight states have voluntary renewable portfolio goals. A few states, like California and Maine, have set their sights on having more than one-third renewable electricity within the next two decades.

With such strong policies in place and renewables gaining strength across the country, Ryan Wiser of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that the proposed federal RPS would not significantly increase investments in green energy. Indeed, Wiser notes that there is already an oversupply of the renewable energy credits utilities use to meet RPS requirements.

"We need to develop a policy that is more stringent than those that have been in consideration over the past few years," Wiser told AOL Energy.

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