EIA Analyzes Clean Energy Standard

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its analysis of S. 2146, the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012.

The legislation, which Chairman Bingaman introduced in March, seeks to modernize the nation’s power sector and guide it toward a future in which more and more electricity is generated with cleaner and cleaner energy.

EIA’s analysis shows that the 25-page bill, called CES for short, would drive greater usage of the clean energy resources that already are in service, while also providing a long-term market signal to drive innovation and greater deployment of new clean energy for the future. It also shows that the CES would have little impact on national electricity rates for the first decade of the program.

EIA projects that the technology-neutral, inclusive design of the legislation will lead to substantial amounts of new clean energy from a wide range of sources, including wind, solar, natural gas and nuclear power.

EIA also projects enhanced industrial efficiency would result from enactment of the legislation, with 21 percent more combined heat and power (CHP) deployed in 2035.   EIA estimates that the legislation would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 20 percent in 2025 and by 45 percent in 2035.

The legislation employs a straightforward, market-based approach that encourages a wide variety of electricity-generating technologies. It sets a national goal for clean energy and establishes a transparent framework that lets resources compete based on how clean they are, then gets out of the way and lets the market and American ingenuity determine the best paths forward.

The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the bill on Thursday, May 17.