August 22, 2008

U.S. Demand for Renewable Power

The U.S. Department of Energy / Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has published a June 2007 chart of the states whose legislatures have mandated that a certain percentage or volume of their electricity will come from renewable sources - wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, and bioenergy.

This policy is called a "renewable portfolio standard" and it is interesting to note that a federal RPS was considered for inclusion in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). It did not pass because the Southern states would be at a disadvantage meeting the standard because of the lack of wind and solar resources. Should the march of state-by-state standards be implemented throughout the South - like the new RPS for Virginia (enacted April, 2007) and North Carolina (enacted August, 2007) - the bulk of the renewable power would have to come from biomass.

Florida is in full legislative consideration of a large Renewable Portfolio Standard. Their charismatic governor, Charlie Crist, advocates a 20% mandate.

The U.S. Department of Energy's version of the map below is imaged mapped to an expanded description of each state's policy. Their listing includes links to the administering organizations.

A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a state policy that requires electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy resources by a certain date. Currently there are 24 states plus the District of Columbia that have RPS policies in place. Together these states account for more than half of the electricity sales in the United States.

Four other states, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, and Vermont, have nonbinding goals for adoption of renewable energy instead of an RPS.

Summary of State Renewable Portfolio Standards
The following table gives a rough summary of state renewable portfolio standards. Percentages refer to a portion of electricity sales and megawatts (MW) to absolute capacity requirements. Most of these standards phase in over years, and the date refers to when the full requirement takes effect.

*Three states, Missouri, Virginia, and Vermont, have set voluntary goals for adopting renewable energy instead of portfolio standards with binding targets.

technorati , , ,

No comments: