Archive for the ‘Federal SRECs’ Category

Senators Introduce Renewable Electricity Standard

Posted October 20th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

At the end of September, Senators Jeff Bingaman, Sam Brownback, Byron Dorgan, Susan Collins, Tom Udall, and Mark Udall introduced a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES). The bill will require electricity generators to acquire specific percentages of electricity supplied to customers from renewable energy sources.

Senator Bingaman commented, “I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard.  I think that they are present in the House.  I think that we need to get on with figuring out what we can pass and move forward.”

The legislation proposes the following targets to be met from either renewable energy resources or energy efficiency improvements:

YEAR  __                 %


2014-2016…….……. 6

2017-2018…….……. 9

2019-2020………… 12

2021-2039………… 15

Eligible renewable energy resources will include wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydropower, hydrokinetic, new hydropower at existing dams and waste-to-energy. Energy providers can comply with the RES by producing renewable energy, implementing energy efficiency measures, purchasing renewable energy or energy efficiency savings, purchasing renewable energy credits or energy efficiency credits, or paying an alternative compliance payment (ACP) at a rate of $21/MWh. The national RES program will not affect state programs.

Click here for the entire press release.


FERC Rules Against Feed In Tariffs

Posted August 19th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

Several states have been exploring an alternative to solar renewable energy credits with laws establishing feed-in tariffs (FIT).  A FIT law works by requiring utilities to purchase electricity from certain sources, like solar, at a fixed rate.  This rate is higher than the utilities normal wholesale electricity purchase price in order to subsidize their higher cost.  Unlike SREC laws, the FIT is a relatively blunt policy instrument.  By setting a fixed tariff, the state legislature must exactly calculate the cost needed to incentivize new solar installations.  If the rate is set too high, ratepayers unnecessarily oversubsidize solar (remember cash for clunkers?) and if it is set too low the solar build-up is too slow.  An SREC program, by contrast, allows the market to determine the exact price necessary to incentivize solar, leading to the desired amount of solar at the minimum cost to ratepayers.

State FIT laws were recently dealt a setback by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) who determined that a California  Feed-in Tariff for combined heat and power (CHP) was preempted by Federal Law.  The ruling specifically determined that  FERC has exclusive jurisdiction to set rates, terms, and conditions for the sale or resale of electricity, and that feed-in tariffs are a means of setting rates for the sale or resale of electricity.  The ruling goes on to state that feed-in tariffs would be allowed for certain facilities in certain circumstances, but not at rates above the utilities avoided cost.  Since avoided cost is far below FIT levels, this ruling effectively ends solar FITs in the U.S.

Existing programs in California, Oregon, Connecticut, and Vermont will probably be impacted immediately, while pending legislation in several states will have to be re-examined.  The  good news is that most of these states have existing renewable portfolio standard laws, they only lack a solar carve-out.  By adding a solar component to these existing laws, they can join states like NJ, MD, DE, DC, PA, OH, and MA using a market based approach to drive solar growth.

Some other coverage:
Full ruling can be found at FERC’s website under dockets EL10-64 and EL10-66

FERC deals blow to above-market rates (Feed-In Tariffs)

SEIA makes plans to appeal to congress to give states authority to implement FITs

U.S. Senators Push Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)

Posted August 13th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

There have been several groups lobbying for the inclusion of a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) in the Senate’s energy legislation.  In addition to several senators, a coalition led by several trade groups and forward thinking utilities have written a letter to Senator Reid.

According to E&E News, more than half of the U.S. Senate’s Democrats have signed a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include a national RES in any energy legislation that comes to the floor this summer. The senators indicated that they are willing to work together to facilitate the passage of a strong RES.

In addition to the Democrats, some Republicans have demonstrated that they want to support the passage of a national RES. Initial indications have shown that the legislation could require utilities to produce up to 15% of their power from renewable sources. Some Democrats have stated they would like this number to be at least 20% and would prefer to see something in the range of 25%.

The House-passed climate and energy bill sets a combined 20 percent renewable electricity and efficiency standard by 2020.

You can find the full letter here.

Solar on the White House Movement

Posted June 16th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

We thought this was an interesting piece recently posted in Renewable Energy World: A group of solar installation companies and advocacy organizations have come together to offer a $107,000 PV solar system to the white house in an effort to prove that the U.S. is serious about developing renewable energy technology.

The white house first installed solar panels in 1979, when Jimmy Carter put in a large solar hot water system, but these were famously removed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 when they were discovered to have a leak. If anything, we hope the publicity created by this movement will draw attention to the plight of solar in any federal legislation that gets passed!

Here is a link to the full article on the movement to put solar on the White House.

Kerry and Lieberman Propose Energy Bill

Posted May 14th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

The American Power Act has been proposed by Senators Kerry and Lieberman in an effort to reform the energy economy.  The bill proposes to put power generation back into U.S. control, clean up the carbon footprint and increase the use of clean technologies.  You can learn more on Kerry’s website.

Questions arise around the impact such a bill might have on the SREC markets that currently exist.  Our read of the proposed legislation is that it does not impact renewable portfolio standards and would not preclude any established state RPS.  The proposed law does preempt state and regional carbon reduction laws (currently RGGI and AB32), but the renewable portfolio standards would not fall under the definition of that section.

Section 1601 of the bill is essentially a placeholder for federal portfolio standard legislation, which is contained in another senate bill that passed out of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources some time ago.  That bill specifically allows any state RPS that is stricter than the federal program to continue, so none of the markets where we currently operate would be impacted.  The climate bill the House passed does contain a federal RPS and it has similar language protecting state programs.

The bottom line is that passage of the climate bill is still uncertain, but even if it does pass SREC markets will remain alive and well.  If the overall climate bill doesn’t pass, the energy bill with the federal portfolio standard may be a compromise everyone can agree on, which would be good for SREC and REC markets throughout the country.

The bill can be read here: