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New Bill Proposed to Establish Clean Energy Standard in U.S.

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New Bill Proposed to Establish Clean Energy Standard in U.S.

In recent news, House and Senate Democrats revealed a legislative proposal that would set a national clean energy standard to bring the nation's carbon emissions from the electric sector to nearly net zero by 2050.  While thirty years may seem like a long time for setting goals that have immediate needs, the gains would be incremental and major movement in the right direction could be seen as early as the next ten to fifteen years.

Earlier this week, Senator Tom Udall introduced a bill that would establish a 50% renewable energy standard (RES) across the U.S. by 2035.  According to a press release published on Tom Udall’s website, the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) Act of 2019 would require electricity providers across the country to increase their supply of renewable energy from sources like wind and solar each year starting as early as 2020. The RES meets the recommendations of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5 C Special Report, which outlines the standards that must be met worldwide to respond to the existential threat of climate change.

The key components of the Renewable Electricity Act of 2019 as published in the press release would include the following:

 Create a federal floor-setting standard that requires each retail electricity provider to increase its supply of renewable energy by a percentage of total retail sales each year, starting in 2020. 

 Each kilowatt hour of electric energy generated by a new renewable resource will be entitled to a Renewable Electricity Credit (REC), which will be turned in for compliance.  Under limited circumstances, certain existing facilities that increase their generation, repower, or are not being used to meet state RESs or voluntary market demand could also receive RECs.

• Achieves at least 50 percent electricity from renewables in the U.S. by 2035, roughly double business as usual and nearly triple current levels (17.6% in 2018).

 Requires the Secretary of Energy to submit a plan to Congress for changes to the program post-2035 to achieve zero-carbon electricity by 2050. 

The full text of the bill can be viewed here.

While carbon emissions have been declining for several years, a report conducted and released by Ceres earlier this month found that CO2 emissions from the 100 largest U.S. power providers rose 1% from 2017 to 2018.  The report reinforces the need to find solutions to revamp the power sector at a scope and scale that meets the challenges that are developing due to the climate crisis. Bills such as the latest proposed are just one of the steps that could lead the U.S. to a more sustainable energy model.

To get started on a more sustainable energy path and learn about how Power Panel's solar-thermal technology can provide a clean and secure energy source for you, contact us.