The Cure for the RPS Blues
June 12th, 2007
Utility commissioners in the Southeast (and some
lobbyists in Washington) are running a temperature about the prospects for a
national renewable portfolio standard (RPS). They seem to be feeling
under the weather because they think such a law would mean higher costs for
consumers. This suspicion is supported by “evidence” in a study
commissioned by - surprise, surprise - the utility industry’s biggest
trade association, the Edison Electric Institute.
Fortunately, we have found the cure for the RPS
Chairman Jeff Bingaman invites you to consider a
new report, released yesterday, that puts in context any overheated
allegations that a national renewable portfolio standard would harm
consumers. The 29-page study, “Impacts of a 15 Percent Renewable Portfolio
Standard,” was prepared by experts at the Energy Information
EIA, created by Congress in 1977, is an
independent, policy-neutral statistical and analytical agency within the
U.S. Department of Energy. It provides timely, high-quality data,
forecasts and analyses to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets and
public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy
and the environment.
Sen. Bingaman, a leading voice for renewable energy, will introduce a
Renewable Portfolio Standard amendment during floor debate on the energy
bill. Last month he asked EIA to analyze a 15 percent RPS.
A key finding: The increased use of renewable energy in a national RPS leads
to only slightly higher electricity expenditures (0.5 percent) by 2030 and
lower coal and natural gas prices.
So, if fear of renewables is the fever, EIA’s new analysis surely is the