Pennsylvania Passes Alternative Energy Requirements

December 17, 2004

Governor Edward G. Rendell signed the Alternative Energy Bill on December 7. The bill requires 18% of the electricity sold in Pennsylvania to come from renewable and advanced energy sources within 15 years. The bill, which had passed the Pennsylvania Legislature the week before Thanksgiving, sets up two tiers of energy sources that power companies who sell electricity in Pennsylvania may use to meet the requirements. Tier One energy sources include wind, solar, and biomass, and Tier Two energy sources include energy saved from new energy efficiency measures and coal waste. Energy companies will have to obtain 8% of their power from Tier-One resources and 10% from Tier-Two resources.

The governor signed the bill at the Champion Refuse Pile in Robinson Township, which is the largest pile of refuse coal east of the Mississippi River. (Use of refuse coal is included as alternative energy as part of the Pennsylvania standard.) At the ceremony, Rendell said, "Cleaner, more advanced energy has its own rewards, in terms of the environmental benefits it brings and the economic opportunities it promises." See the governor's December 7 press release.

For more details on the bill, including an overview and its full text, see the press release from a statewide public interest membership organization that advocated for the legislation called PennFuture.