Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is a federal renewable energy mandate on the way?

There has been a lot of talk in the US recently about the fact that it is a great American tradition for states to act and the Federal government to follow suit based on the most successful schemes. Now some of you may be thinking, nonsense thats just a way of excusing non-existent leadership.

It seems that these positions aren't mutually exclusive, there is a lot to be gained by using states as a test bed, but real leadership has been lacking. Things are however changing, with the testbed of state level action becoming more of a hotbed of revolutionary action. Renewable energy standards are currently in place in 21 of America's states (Map + Details per State). 10 other states are considering the standards...this test is surely about complete. Pressure is building for the 20 by 20 initiative which aims to have a 20 percent renewable energy mandate by 2020. Such a measure would surely place the US as a world leader in renewable energy technology.

Real carbon benefits are being seen...

"The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) projects that 21 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted renewable electricity standards are on track to reduce their global warming emissions by 108 MMT of carbon dioxide by 2020."
However, the really big advances would be made with federal action as there are still 30 states not covered and some only have modest targets, therefore...

"The federal standard would increase renewable energy output nearly four times over current state standards."

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