ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Renewable Power Laws and Mandates

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Smart Grids and Federal Law

President Obama signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2009 as part of his efforts to push renewable energy and the smart grid. IEEE released its first smart grid standards in 2012, building upon the technical framework recommended by the NIST.

This is in addition to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 that requires at least 30% of hot water in new federal buildings and renovations of existing buildings to come from solar hot water heaters. The EISA of 2007 also mandated reductions in fossil fuel uses in new federal buildings and renovated ones, with a 100% reduction in fossil fuel consumption of 100% relative to 2003 values.

These federal laws and mandates are coupled with state laws such as those in California with even more aggressive requirements for green energy generation and energy efficiency.

Wind turbine sans blades on back of a truck at a Texas truck stop, on its way to a West Texas wind farm.
Wind turbine sans blades on back of a truck at a Texas truck stop, on its way to a West Texas wind farm. | Source

State Law and Renewable Power Mandates

By 2012, 29 states set mandates for their utility companies to shift their power mix to include more renewable power. Called renewable portfolio standards or RPS, these standards will punish utilities that fail to shift their power generation mix to include the mandated percentage or volume of renewable power by the pre-determined deadline. For example, California has mandated that utilities get at least one third of their power from renewable sources by 2020. This is the highest renewable energy portfolio level in the country.

Arizona set a goal of one eighth of its power from renewable energy by 2025. Not all renewable power mandates are percentage based. Texas’ mandate calls for 5,880 Megawatts of renewable power generation to be brought on to the grid by 2015, at least 500 Megawatts of which must come from sources other than wind. Iowa has decreed that 105 Megawatts of renewable energy should be brought online. Smaller utilities and power co-ops, which don’t have the budgets of large power districts and utility companies, have lower RPS standards in Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina and New Mexico.

Renewable power mandates can also be a combination of minimum capacity and percentage of overall capacity. Michigan calls for at least 10% of its power to come from renewable sources with a minimum capacity of 1,100 Megawatts. Massachusetts wants at least 15% of new power generation by 2020 to come from renewable sources while it also requires 2 Gigawatts of wind power to come online.

Nine more states have renewable power generation goals that are non-binding and not legally enforced. Several power authorities have also adopted renewable portfolio standards. For example, Xcel Energy in Minnesota has decided to get at least 25% of its power from wind.

What Counts as Renewable Power Under These Mandates?

Renewable resources are those that are continuously available and not expected to run out. The definition of renewable power varies from state to state under RPS mandates. Biofuels like ethanol, biomass like wood and yard waste, landfill gas like methane captured from trash dumps, solar, wind and hydroelectric power considered renewable energy in all fifty states. Geothermal is classified as an eligible technology in most states.

Energy efficiency, efforts that improve energy efficiency of industrial facilities and homes, only counts toward RPS goals in a few states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. Wave and tidal power are recognized as renewable energy sources in 22 states.

Geothermal power, harnessing the heat of the earth to generate electricity, is recognized in most states but not Vermont, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana or Connecticut. Solar thermal electric, where solar power is used to heat water to high temperatures then sent through turbines to make electricity, counts toward RPS in most states.

Burning waste tires for electricity counts as renewable power in Nevada, Oregon and Rhode Island. Also called tire incineration, this power source is considered renewable by some proponents because it generates power from waste that would otherwise go into the landfill. Burning trash is also classified as a renewable power source in many jurisdictions.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)