Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Susan Collins recently joined her colleagues, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), in introducing bipartisan legislation that would set targets for utilities to obtain an increasing percentage of electricity supplies from renewable sources.

The bill would establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that would require utilities to receive as much as 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. It also has the potential to create thousands of good-paying “green jobs.” Current estimates show that by 2025, a 15 percent RES would help create 100,000 new jobs in the renewable energy industry, while helping to preserve 200,000 jobs currently at risk.

“Our country must develop reasonable policies to spur the creation of “green energy” jobs, lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, spur renewable energy and energy conservation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan legislation is a responsible approach to achieving greater energy independence and helping to reduce our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels. The bill also provides incentives for greater investments in renewable energy, which has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the green energy sector. It is a commonsense step toward a clean energy future for our country.”

The legislation would require sellers of electricity to retail customers to obtain certain percentages of their electric supplies from renewable energy resources. Sellers of electricity must obtain the following percentages of their electricity from renewable energy resources or from energy efficiency improvements:

YEAR __ %
2014-2016………….. 6
2017-2018………….. 9
2019-2020………… 12
2021-2039………… 15

Utilities selling less than 4 million megawatt hours per year are exempt. The federal RES would not affect state programs.

Qualifying renewable include wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydropower, hydrokinetic, new hydropower at existing dams and waste-to-energy.


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