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States Seek To Increase Renewable Portfolio Standards

March 17, 2010

Adding to a growing number of states seeking to increase their percentage of power from renewable sources, Gov. Jack Markell last week introduced the Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act.  A key component of the legislation is increasing the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which governors often say generates job growth.

The overarching goal of the Delaware bill is to create a competitive climate for the clean energy market, which is addressed under four main goals, including:

  • Setting a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for the state to receive 30 percent of its energy supplies from renewable sources by 2029 (up from 20 percent);
  • Facilitating job creation through modifications to the existing RPS and expanding local manufacturing to establish Delaware as a national leader in the adoption of renewable energy;
  • Driving local economic development by creating a new "local generation" component to the RPS and incentives for the use of systems manufactured in Delaware through enhanced renewable energy credit values; and,
  • Modernizing the Green Energy Fund by establishing a market-based method for financing renewable energy projects.


A fact sheet outlining the Delaware Clean Energy Jobs Act is available at: http://governor.delaware.gov/docs/clean-energy-jobs-act-summary.pdf.

As of May 2009, 24 states and the District of Columbia had RPS policies in place and five states with nonbinding goals for the adoption of renewable energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A map and chart summarizing state Renewable Portfolio Standards is available here.  A December 2009 survey by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change is available here. Additional state actions to increase RPS are highlighted below.

Lawmakers approved last week a measure to increase Colorado's RPS to 30 percent by 2020. This is up from the current standard of 20 percent by 2020. Gov. Bill Ritter called for passage of the legislation during his State of the State address earlier this year, citing the creation of  thousands of new jobs as a result of larger markets for solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal energies.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order in September directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California's RPS to 33 percent by 2020, first established by the governor's directive in November 2008. This was an increase from the previous standard of 25 percent by 2020.

California, Colorado, Delaware