Massachusetts pushing for more, lower-cost renewable electricity

Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 09:03 AM
posted by rene5432

The Massachusetts legislature is trying to dramatically increase the amount of electricity that utility companies are required to produce from clean energy sources, according to The Associated Press.

The legislature's Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy approved a new bill that would rework how the state's utilities purchase renewable electricity, forcing them to rely on a competitive bidding process to help keep costs down.

The impetus for that change was the ongoing Cape Wind project that the state's utilities have invested in at a fairly high cost. The new process would help prevent negotiations between two companies from leading to higher electricity rates.

"What we're doing today is building on what we learned from that and trying to make improvements where we could," State Senator Ben Downing told the AP.

And the state's residents could be certain they would see more renewable electricity in the future, since the bill would more than double the current requirement from 3 percent of all energy to 7 percent.

In 2010, renewable electricity sources other than hydropower accounted for exactly 3 percent of all power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, actually down from a decade before.

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