Does Bingaman’s Energy Proposal Go Far Enough?
A Senate aide says the renewable energy standard a bipartisan group of senators will unveil tomorrow will use the target in Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s (D-N.M.) energy bill as a baseline. Bingaman’s bill called for 15 percent of the country’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2021.
As I wrote back in July, for many environmentalists, Bingaman’s RES falls short of the targets necessary to spur significant clean energy development:
What kind of impact would Bingaman’s RES have on renewable energy?
This 2009 analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a research arm of the Department of Energy, gives us some idea. The analysis is based on Bingaman’s original 20 percent by 2021 RES proposal, which was cut down to 15 percent to win support from Republicans on the committee. And the results aren’t good. The analysis finds that the Bingaman bill likely won’t increase renewable energy development beyond a business-as-usual scenario.
Of course, proponents of Bingaman’s RES will argue that it is just a starting point. And, given the tight calendar in the Senate, it looks like it’s the only thing that can pass right now.