The U.S. Department of Energy has released a report analyzing the impact of proposed legislation from New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman that would require utilities to obtain 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Such a so-called renewable portfolio standard would result in a 6.7 percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the DOE’s Energy Information Administration. Though CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants would fall, utilities’ overall greenhouse gas emissions would continue to rise. The study does not take into account renewable energy standards already in place in more than half states For instance, California requires that 20 percent of electricity sold by investor-owned utilities must come from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 30 percent by 2030. California will impose statewide limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and five other western states have agreed to do the same. "The implementation of any combination of these policies would be expected to have a significant impact on renewable generation markets," the report’s authors wrote. The study also found:
- Solar energy would grow to eight percent of renewable energy production, largely because of the generous marketable credits rooftop solar arrays would receive.
- Biomass energy production would triple.
- Natural gas and nuclear energy production would decline slightly.
- Electricity prices would rise .9 percent between 2005 and 2030.