Many regulators say that new technology makes it cheaper and easier to build and operate electric generating plants.
Renewable Energy: Toward A Portfolio Standard?
power must come from solar, wind, sustainable biomass, landfill gas and fuel cells by 2009. An additional 7 percent must come from hydro, other biomass and trash-to-energy by 2009. A charge of 0.5 mills/kWh is imposed to create a SBC fund for R&D and renewable energy resources. ILLINOIS. HB 362 (December 1997) establishes an SBC in the form of an RE Resources Trust Fund, capped at $100M for 1998-2007. Trust funded from gas and electric customers. Some 50 percent of the Trust goes to a Coal Technology Development Assistance Fund. MAINE. The state was holding hearings on an RPS at press time. LD 1804 (May 1997) established an RPS with a minimum of 30 percent of the supply portfolio coming from renewable resources. The PUC planned to set rules to implement the limits by 1999. MASSACHUSETTS. HB 5137 (November 1997) establishes a RE Trust Fund of about $200M over the first five years. The legislation also establishes an RPS calling for 1 percent of electricity sales to come from new renewable generating sources by 2003. This will rise to 4 percent by 2009 and 1 percent thereafter. MONTANA. SB 390 (May 1997) establishes an SBC of 2.4 percent of revenues in 1995 (about $15M) to cover LI, EE and RE from 1999 to 2003. NEVADA. AB 366 (October 1997) establishes an RPS with 0.2 percent of the total amount of electricity consumed annually coming from renewable resources by 2001. The amount will increase biannually to 1 percent by 2009. Fifty percent of the RPS must come from solar resources. NEW HAMPSHIRE. HB 1392 (June 1995) proposed that a SBC may be used from LI, EE and R&D. For RE, utilities should be allowed to charge customers a premium. Governor proposes an SBC of 2.3 mills/kWh for EE and RE. RHODE ISLAND. H 8124B (August 1996) establishes an SBC of 2.3 mills/kWh to fund EE and RE until 2001. This will raise about $76M over five years. VERMONT. The Public Service Board recommends an RPS of 4 percent by 2007. SB 62, which is pending, calls for an RPS that would increase each year beginning in 1998 and ending in 2007 when 4 percent of all retail electricity must be RE. Tradeable credits also are established. WISCONSIN. A December order establishes funds collected from all natural gas and electricity providers, based on the volume of their sales. It calls for RE to be funded at $5M a year, ending in five years.
RPS = Renewable Portfolio Standard
SBC = Systems Benefits Charge
Sources: Energetics Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy Electric Utility Restructuring Database, May 29, 1998; Public Utilities Fortnightly, Feb. 15, 1998, p. 43.
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