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  • Monday, March 18, 2013


    New Bill Seeks To Repeal N.C.'s Renewable Energy Mandate

    Laura DiMugno, 14 March 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “…New legislation proposed in the [North Carolina's] House of Representatives would repeal North Carolina's renewable portfolio standard (RPS), the major driver of renewable energy development in the state…North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, passed in 2007, is 12.5% by 2021 for investor-owned utilities and 10% by 2018 for electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The authors of the bill, dubbed the “Affordable and Reliable Energy Act,” say the state’s RPS is raising energy costs for North Carolina consumers.

    “However, a recent study found that North Carolina’s clean energy policies - including the RPS - will actually save customers over the long run. According to the study, electricity rates will peak in 2015 and then decline through 2026, ultimately saving customers $173 million…[B]etween 2007 and 2012, clean energy resulted in $1.7 billion in economic benefits to North Carolina and generated $2.56 billion in spending in the state's economy…and while the broader North Carolina economy lost more than 100,000 jobs between 2007 and 2012, the state gained 21,162 clean energy jobs during the same period…”

    “According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are at least 18 facilities in North Carolina that manufacture components for the wind energy industry…PPG Industries, a supplier of fiberglass to the wind energy industry, has two factories that employ hundreds of workers…A repeal of the RPS would likely lessen demand for offshore wind in North Carolina…A comprehensive study…found that North Carolina has the best offshore wind resource on the East Coast…

    “North Carolina’s highly regulated electricity market limits opportunities for newer energy technologies…The bill would also eliminate all funding for renewable energy research, further limiting the ability of [New Energies like] offshore wind to compete with more established technologies…Despite backing from state lawmakers, however, it is unlikely that the state’s voters will support the bill: Recent poll results…found that 69.7% of North Carolina voters are in favor of the state’s RPS program…The bill still must travel through a number of committees before going up for a vote.”


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