EPA proposal puts states with abundant green power in catbird seat

Nick Juliano | E&E reporter | Link to article

The sweeping proposal to limit the power sector’s contribution to climate change unveiled yesterday could pay dividends for states that embraced wind and solar power early on.

In seeking to provide as much flexibility as possible for states to craft plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, U.S. EPA recommended policies to expand renewable energy generation as one of four building blocks that states should include in the plan. It also contemplates the creation of multi-state trading programs that would facilitate cross-border opportunities to maximize emissions reductions.

“Extra renewables in one state could be used to offset emissions in another state,” said Kate Zyla, deputy director of the Georgetown Climate Center.

The approach could be a lucrative opportunity for states that already have aggressive renewable energy targets to effectively export the emissions reductions associated with that activity. Some of this already occurs — for example when Midwestern wind farms sell renewable energy credits (REC) to utilities in states like Maryland or Delaware, which have their own renewable portfolio standards but less land on which to generate wind power within their borders.

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