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Study Looks at Rate Impact of a Renewable Electricity Standard  

A new study released by the Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (ICREED) looks at the impact on electric rates of a proposed Renewable Electricity Standard.

The standard would require that electric utilities supply a percentage of their power through renewable sources, such as wind or biomass. The study shows that combined with the current federal incentive for wind, the rate impact of a ten percent standard by 2017 in Indiana would amount to a total of 1.14 percent over the ten year period.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Press Release

Today the Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development (ICREED), a coalition of businesses, elected officials, and clean energy groups, released a rate impact study that describes estimated rate impacts of a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) on Hoosier electric utility ratepayers.

That study, authored by Pete Boerger, a PhD Purdue-educated economist and former head of the Electric Division of the Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor, was released in the context of study committee hearings taking place on September 26th in the Indiana General Assembly on renewable electricity development.

Currently, 20 states have a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) in place, and 15 additional states have bills pending in their legislatures. Such market mechanisms require that electric utility companies supply a small percentage of their electricity with renewable sources of power, such as wind or biomass.

Republican State Representative Don Lehe and Democrat State Representative Dale Grubb are supporting an RES that calls on Indiana electric utilities to supply a modest 10% of their electricity with renewable energy technology by 2017.

Such a policy would set the proper market conditions for significant new investment in Indiana, and would create thousands of new jobs throughout the state, benefiting both rural and urban areas.

Jesse Kharbanda, of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, stated, “Combined with the current federal incentive for wind, the study estimates that the rate impact of a 10% RES by 2017 in Indiana would amount to a total of 1.14% over the ten year period. To put that in perspective, this figure is well in line with a report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which states that the average rate impact across 22 studies is about 0.7%.

ICREED estimates that 70% of all wind development nationally is in states with an RES.

Steve Aker of Indiana-based White Construction, the third largest wind turbine installer in the country, said, “An RES is critical to renewable electricity development because it creates a large market for renewable generation, whether it be from wind, biomass, methane digestion, or any other renewable resource. That market enables, for example, farmers to have a substantial new source of income, and struggling counties to have a new stream of revenues.”

Dr. Stephen Jay, Chair of the Department of Public Health at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said, “An RES is a small price to pay for cleaner air. The public health costs of our current mix of electricity generation are substantial and devastating ““ about $5 billion dollars in annual damages from particulate matter pollution alone. Diversifying our energy supply with zero emission technologies such as wind improve air quality and, thus, public health.”

Grant Smith, Executive Director of Citizens Action Coalition, said, “Our overemphasis on coal-based power is costing Hoosiers dearly. The rate impacts of a 10% RES are dwarfed by the cost of controlling air pollution from existing coal plants and new coal-fired power plants.”

As an example Smith cited Duke Energy whose customers face a rate increase of 17.5% for retrofitting existing plants with equipment to control sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions. Moreover, Smith said, “Duke and Vectren have filed for a certificate of need of up to $1.6 billion for a 625 MW coal gasification plant proposed at the company’s Edwardsport generating station. That is more than 80% higher than the published per kilowatt capital cost of pulverized coal plants.”

Mike Hudson, CEO of Anderson-based I Power, a distributed generation company, states that “It is in our economic interests to diversify our energy mix with clean, renewable energy sources at a modest pace. A 10% Renewable Electricity Standard by 2017 is very reasonable and has the potential to be cheaper than our current coal-based energy policy for electric generation, and creates great economic opportunities that could benefit every county in the state.”

Contact ICREED at any of the numbers at the top of this press release if you would like to receive a copy of the rate impact study.

Source: Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy and Economic Development

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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