U.S. senators unveil federal 25% renewable power bill

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Two U.S. senators unveil a bill that requires utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, by 2025. 

Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo­.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have unveiled a bill that requires utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, by 2025.

According to the two U.S. Senate Democrats, the bill is similar to the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard, an initiative approved by Colorado’s voters in 2004 requiring investor-owned utilities to generate 30% of their electricity from renewables by 2020.

The bill was unveiled last Tuesday. The senators plan to attach the bill as an amendment to an energy efficiency bill, which is expected to be voted on sometime this year. A similar bill, the Renewable Electricity Promotion Act, was introduced in 2010, but never made it out of committee.

Christopher Mansour, Vice President of Federal Affairs of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released the following statement in support of the bill: 

“Removing market barriers and providing a competitive structure that allows the nation to recognize solar energy’s full potential is a top priority for America’s solar industry. We’ve already seen what well-structured renewable energy standards have meant in states. They’ve opened electricity markets to allow for more competition from renewable sources of energy and ultimately driven down the cost of electricity for consumers. This success can be replicated at the national level. We applaud Senators Mark and Tom Udall for taking a leadership role and introducing legislation to establish a national renewable electricity standard. A national standard that successfully deploys solar energy would diversify our energy portfolio, reduce costs for consumers, and create jobs. We look forward to constructively working with policymakers to ensure that all forms of solar energy, including solar heating and cooling technologies, work to meet this goal.”