Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Expanding Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 119 is on the Senate agenda today. The bill would extend and expand the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), provide a solar component and include incentives for installing locally made components.

One important feature of the bill is the inclusion of the municipal energy providers and the Delaware Electric Cooperative in the RPS for the first time, either through the statutory program or through an alternative program that would achieve similar results. The munis and the Coop, which provide about half of Delaware's electricity, are structured differently than Delmarva Power, and have different relations with their customers.

According to the federal
Energy Information Administration, 97.6 percent of Delaware's electricity came from fossil fuels, 70 percent from coal. The 2008 Toxic Release Inventory reports that the coal burning Indian River and Edge Moor/Hay Road Power Plants together accounted for 75 percent of air emissions in Delaware.

Increasing the RPS will move us away from our reliance on fossil fuels and their inherent price volatility. Delaware is not in the fossil fuel extraction business. But we do manufacture solar panels. Motech has grown from 75 to 140 jobs since taking over a solar panel factory in Newark last winter.

Update: The bill passed the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 17 to 4, and has now moved to the House Energy Committee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

vote was 17-4

1:39 AM, June 23, 2010  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

I stand corrected. Thanks.

6:46 AM, June 23, 2010  

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