Mar. 8, 2012 - Jeff Bingaman, the Energy and Natural Resources Chairman
in the U.S. Senate, recently introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act
of 2012, which could require utilities to ensure at least
24% of all power sold in 2015 could be defined as “clean energy.”
According to an article in Power Magazine, the goal of the bill is that by 2020, the amount of clean energy available to the grid from clean energy would increase to 84% by 2035, a very ambitious plan.
Clean energy is defined within the bill as renewable
energy, qualified renewable biomass, natural gas (including coal mine
methane), hydropower, nuclear power or qualified waste-to-energy generated at a facility after Dec. 31, 1991. Coal
plants would qualify if they capture CO2 and prevent its release into the atmosphere.
The definition also encapsulates facilities that
use qualified combined heat and power or "a source of energy, other than
biomass, with lower annual carbon intensity than 0.82 metric tons of
carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt-hour."
This bill, while optimistic, still has a long way to go before being passed into legislation. For more on the bill, please read the Power Magazine article.