Renewable energy can help to resolve the problems such as increasing prices of fossil fuel oil, need for more energy for domestic use, and harmful air pollution. National renewable electricity standard can help to provide energy with clean domestic resources. That will help to stabilize electricity prices, reduction in natural gas prices, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful air pollutants. Most of all it will create jobs especially in rural areas and farmers and ranchers will find new income.
What is a Renewable Electricity Standard?
The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standard is a market-based process, which requires utilities to gradually increase the portion of electricity produced from renewable resources like wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar energy. Thirteen states including Texas had ordained minimum renewable energy requirements. But energy production makes national economic and environmental problems, which need national solutions.
The RES Relies on Market Forces
Use of tradable “renewable energy credits” for achieving compliance at the lowest cost, the functions like the Clean Air Act credit-trading system that permits lower-cost, market-based compliance with prescribed air pollution rule. This approach creates a competition between the renewable generators, providing greatest amount of clean power with lowest price and also plays major role for driving costs down.
Benefits of the Renewable Portfolio Standard
The Renewable Portfolio Standard is having following benefits:
Saves Consumers and Business Money
America’s homegrown renewable energy resources by several enterprises had created a more competitive market, which can reduce natural gas prices and save consumers money on their energy bills. Renewable energy is not responsible for changing prices that can harm natural gas power plants.
There are two recent studies, which made by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); they used high renewable energy cost estimates and find that a national RES will provide 10 percent of U.S. electricity from renewables till 2020 and that will lower natural gas prices. It will be having no impact o the electricity prices and will save energy consumers as much as $13.2 billion.
There is another 2002 UCS report “ Renewing Where We Live” also shows that a 10 percent by 2020 national RES will significantly reduce consumer energy bills. In this report this also had been looked that what will happen if the national RES were doubles to 20 percent by 2020. In this aspect , the RES will achieve greater diversity, economic development and also beneficial for the environment. And it will save $4.5 billion for consumer’s energy bills.
Reduce dependence on fossil fuels and lower fossil fuel prices
Studies by UCS, the Department of Energy, and other studies shows that RES is able to create healthy competition for fossil fuel power plants that are increasingly fueled by natural gas. When the natural gas heavy demand will reduce then RES will be able to reduce natural gas prices to homes and businesses.
Current chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and former Chair of the Texas Public Utilities Commission, Pat Wood who had implemented the nation’s most successful RPS to date says, “ The benefit of wind and solar energy is a predictable price path, and your variable costs will be zero.”
Foster economic development
This RES will arouse domestic investment in new renewable energy throughout the nation, creating jobs and income in rural areas and also in high tech and manufacturing sectors.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy would provide $1.2 billion in new income for farmers and rural landowners by 2020 and 80,000 new jobs. By tripling use of biomass energy in U.S. could provide as much as $20 billion new income for farmers and rural communities. When United States will be having a strong domestic renewable energy industry then the economy will benefit from the large export potential of this industry.
Reduce emissions and environmental impacts
Taking on a strong national renewable energy standard can reduce United States carbon dioxide emissions because the heat-trapping gas is first for being responsible of global warming from electricity generation. Along with energy efficiency improvements, power plant carbon emissions can be significantly reduced.
One of leading source for carbon emissions in U.S. is electricity generation. Almost 40 percent of carbon is emitted by power plants in United States.
A renewable energy standard will also significantly reduce other emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury. These mentioned pollutants mainly cause acid rain, smog, respiratory illness and water contamination.
EIA’s recent study shows that the RES could reduce the cost of controlling power plant emissions by reducing pressure on natural gas prices. RES will also reduce the need of drilling for natural gas, building new pipelines and power lines. It will also reduce the need for mining, transportation and burning of coal. Renewable energy can be more efficient and faster than developing new fossil and nuclear energy supplies.