June 12 (Reuters) - Twenty-nine of the 50 U.S. states have established a required minimum amount of electricity generation that must come from renewable sources like wind and solar power, called a Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS.
Another five states have “renewable goals” which are considered voluntary and do not penalize utilities for not meeting the goals.
The District of Columbia also has an RPS.
California’s utility regulator, the Public Utilities Commission, issued a report on Friday that showed that requiring a third of the power delivered in the state be made from renewable sources of energy will increase electricity retail costs by 7 percent more than having a 20 percent RPS goal. [ID:nN1275374]
Green advocates want a national renewable portfolio standard to foster faster growth of renewable energy.
The following list is not a direct comparison because the definition of renewable power varies by state.
Comparisons may not be proportional, either. For instance, Maine and New York allow large hydropower generation to be included even though those resources -- like power plants near Niagara Falls - have been in operation for decades.
California and other states do not allow large hydropower projects to be included because they do not reflect growth of renewable power. Large U.S. hydropower projects are considered a mature source of energy and are not significantly expanding.
Nuclear power counts toward renewable energy goals in only one state, Ohio.
The following table shows states with renewable energy portfolio standards, compiled by researchers at North Carolina State University, and the Pew Center.
STATE STANDARD BY YEAR
Arizona 15% 2025
California 20% 2010
a- Colorado 20% 2020
Connecticut 27% 2020
Delaware 20% 2019
Illinois 25% 2025
Iowa 105 megawatts 1983
Kansas 20% 2020
b - Maine 33% 2010
Maryland 20% 2022
Massachusetts 15% 2020
Michigan 10% 2015
c- Minnesota 25% 2025
Missouri 15% 2021
Montana 15% 2015
Nevada 20% 2015
New Hampshire 25% 2025
New Jersey 22.5% 2021
New Mexico 20% 2020
New York 24% 2013
North Carolina 12.5% 2021
Hawaii 20% 2020
d- Ohio 25% 2025
Oregon 25% 2025
Pennsylvania 18% 2020
Rhode Island 16% 2020
e- Texas 5% 2015
Washington, D.C. 20% 2020
Washington 15% 2020
Wisconsin 10% 2015
The following states have voluntary goals:
North Dakota 10% 2015
South Dakota 10% 2015
Utah 20% 2025
Vermont 25% 2025
Virginia 12% 2022
States without RPS or voluntary goals:
a - Colorado has set 20 percent goal for investor-owned utilities by 2020 and 10 percent for municipal and cooperative utilities by 2020.
b - Maine set 30 percent by 2000 and beginning 2008 to increase renewable power by 1 percent annually.
c - Investor-owned utility Xcel is to have 30 percent renewables by 2020 in Minnesota.
d - Ohio can reach its goal by including some energy efficiency programs and counting third-generation nuclear power plants.
e- Texas has called for increase of 5,000 MW over the 1999 renewable generation level by 2015. That is about 5 percent of the state’s power generation.
A megawatt, by U.S. average, can power 800 to 1,000 homes, but the number is lower for areas with high air-conditioning use, such as Arizona and Florida, where a megawatt can power about 400 homes. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Richard Chang)
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