U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall of New Mexico are pushing for a national renewable electricity standard, which would require 15 percent of all power produced by utility companies to be renewable or alternative energy.
It would be the first national renewable energy standard (RES), and it would increase the momentum of the movement.
A similar bill stalled in the Senate last year. This bill has bipartisan support: Bingaman and Udall are Democrats, and the bill was co-sponsored by three Republicans.
Under Bingaman and Udall’s proposal, utility companies would have to produce at least 11 percent of their power from wind, solar, biomass and other renewable sources of energy, and at least four percent through energy efficiency improvements. The plan is to phase in requirements, reaching the 15 percent minimum by 2021. Utilities that sell less than 4 million megawatt hours per year are exempt.