New Hampshire Enacts a Renewable Requirement with Solar Set-Asides
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed the Renewable Energy Act into law on May 11th, thereby establishing a minimum requirement for new renewable power generation in the state. The new law requires electric utilities to draw on solar power for 0.3 percent of their electricity needs by 2014 and to draw on other new renewable energy facilities for 6 percent of their electricity needs in 2015, increasing to 16 percent of their power needs by 2025. To meet the requirement, the utilities can buy renewable energy credits from facilities using wind power, geothermal power, ocean energy, biomass, methane gas, and any solar power in excess of the 0.3 percent solar power requirement. Incremental capacity additions to or significant refurbishments of existing hydropower and biomass facilities can also be included, as can offsets from the use of solar water heating to displace electric water heating. The law also requires utilities to draw on existing renewable facilities for 7.5 percent of their electrical supply, but the state already generates 20 percent of its retail electricity supply from hydropower, landfill gas, and biomass power plants. See the governor's press release and the full text of the act.
A number of other states are also taking action relating to clean energy. On April 9th, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed a bill requiring 5 percent biodiesel in all diesel fuel sold in the state by 2012, as well as a bill creating a number of clean energy tax credits. In mid-April, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter issued an executive order to cut energy consumption by 20 percent in state facilities by 2012, while also renaming the Office of Energy Management and Conservation as the Governor's Energy Office. In late April, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven signed a number of bills that completed his $42 million renewable energy plan, which emphasizes biomass and biofuels but also includes incentives for wind, solar, and geothermal energy technologies and grants for a wide range of energy technologies. On May 3rd, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions and signed several bills to encourage the use of biofuels. On May 4th, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed an omnibus bill that includes $1.4 million for biofuels and biomass research, while Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed an ethanol production tax credit bill, House Enrolled Act 1722. See the press releases from Governor Richardson (PDF 26 KB), Governor Ritter, Governor Hoeven, Governor Gregoire, and Governor Pawlenty, as well as Indiana Act 1722. Download Adobe Reader.