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Saturday, November 9, 2013

American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act

This looks to be a very broad and powerful piece of legislation that has been introduced into the US Senate.  What we like about if (and we'd love your comments, pro or con) is the clear distinction between efficiency (which always should come first--drive down energy use first) then clean development of renewable sources.
Also, we love the data on the number of jobs already created in this country from similar development (and there's many, many more jobs that have been spiked in the new, green economy) and how this sets the stage for continued expansion and economic development.

We will follow the story and update you here and on the site and radio side--

Markey, of course, comes from MASS, a state clearly in the lead on a number of sustainable fronts:

On October 31, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts introduced legislation that sets a target of generating 25 percent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources while reducing energy waste by 15 percent by 2025.

The second renewable energy bill introduced in the Senate that same week, Sen. Markey’s legislation also follows the science by including strong carbon accounting measures for biomass resources and other important provisions aimed at improving bio-energy supplies.

Critically, the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act recognizes the importance of ensuring that the nation invests in truly low-carbon alternatives, by requiring that all biomass meets greenhouse gas emission standards as determined by the best available science.
In sum, the American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act will promote clean energy sources that cut carbon pollution, further expand our powerful clean energy economy which currently employs hundreds of thousands of American workers, drive innovation, and provide a strong market signal that the future lies in clean, renewable energy developed here in America.

Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following comment:

“This is the renewable energy legislation we need. It also is a wake-up call to those who want to deny science and stall progress: As a nation, it’s time to break our addiction to fossil fuels and invest in a cleaner, healthier future for our children."

“Coupled with President Obama’s climate change initiative, this legislation can take us one step closer to meeting the moral obligation we have to our children to cut pollution, tackle climate change and develop more sources of clean, renewable energy – and the jobs that come with it.”

But what is even a more compelling argument is that this kind of legislation will create jobs, and put people to work.

"Already, the clean energy revolution is employing thousands of workers across the country, while reducing carbon pollution.  According to the BLS, 3.4 million people are already employed across the country in clean jobs, many of them weatherizing homes, producing high-efficiency air-conditioning systems, installing solar panels and wind turbines, and developing advanced new renewable technology. Energy efficiency remains the cheapest, cleanest, fastest way to cut pollution and save dollars while creating jobs."


  • Strong growth for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Electric utilities will deliver 25% of their power from renewable energy by 2025, which will more than quadruple the electricity the nation currently gets from clean, renewable sources and significantly reduce carbon pollution from the power sector, and more than double the projections of renewable energy growth from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Electric and natural gas utilities will develop and expand efficiency programs to help customers get more energy for their dollar of spending by requiring that electric utilities achieve a 15% reduction in energy use and natural gas suppliers achieve a 10% reduction in use.

  • Clear distinction between renewable energy (supply side) and efficiency (demand side).

The industry, programs and costs of efficiency and renewables are quite different and the bill appropriately establishes different requirements for the two types of resources. The bill also recognizes that natural gas customers deserve access to efficiency programs and it requires investments by both electric and natural gas utilities.

  • Electricity sector is broadly covered.

By including retail electric utility service providers who sell at least 1 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year, the bill will deliver increased renewable and efficiency investments by most utilities to the benefit of their customers.

  • State RPS approaches protected.

The bill provides that the federal RES will not interfere with individual states RPSs and associated policies. Absent federal leadership and funding for over a decade, nearly 30 states plus the District of Columbia have set their own RPS goals and accompanying renewable energy development mechanisms to realize the vast economic and environmental benefits afforded by home grown renewable energy development.

  • State funds created to expand renewables and energy efficiency.

Revenues from ACP’s paid by electrical utility providers would go directly to the individual state that the utility serves. These revenues could then be used in that state for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and deployment programs.

  • Additional support for distributed resources.

The RES offers three times more RECs for electricity generated by distributed renewable sources such as solar photovoltaics (with administrative adjustments over time), and two times the RECs for renewable energy on tribal lands.

Depending on location, clean, distributed renewable energy sources offer benefits to both the local electrical grid and local air quality.
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1 comment:

  1. People are becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of alternative energy. To solve the energy crisis that world faces today, it’s important that we give alternative energy a chance. And most of all, try lessening our dependency on energy sources.
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