UCS Releases Report on 15% by 2020 RES

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 30 Oct 2007 01:42:00 GMT

Last week the Union of Concerned Scientists released a new version of “Cashing In on Clean Energy”, judging the economic and environmental effects of a 15% renewable electricity standard (RES) by 2020 (aka renewable portfolio standard (RPS)), the standard called for in HR 3221, the House energy bill. [The Senate version did not include the Bingaman amendment of the same standard, and the provision is at the negotiating table; the initial UCS study looked at a 20% by 2020 standard; the 1Sky/Step It Up campaign calls for 20% by 2015.]

Using an Energy Information Administration (EIA) model, The UCS found the following:
  • Consumer savings would equal $13 billion to $18.1 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills by 2020 (growing to $27.7 billion to $31.8 billion by 2030 if the standard does not increase)
  • Clean, renewable energy capacity would increase between 3.6 and 4.5 times over 2005 levels
  • Reductions in global warming pollution equal to taking between 13.7 and 20.6 million cars off the road
The ranges are generated for lower and higher RES scenarios, depending on implementation choices:
Under our “lower renewable energy case”: (1) all states opt into a provision that allows electric service providers to use energy efficiency to meet up to 27 percent of their annual targets, and (2) additional renewable energy generation from electric power providers having to meet higher targets under state standards is eligible. Under the “higher renewable energy case”: (1) states with renewable standards that are higher than the federal targets (there are 18) do not opt into the energy efficiency provision, and (2) additional renewable energy generation used to meet state standards is retired and not eligible for use under the national standard.

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