AWEA and SEIA recently released a Handbook intended as a guide for states that are considering including renewable energy as a compliance tool to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants (Clean Power Plan) under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

In light of the fact that wind and solar energy are affordable, widely available, rapidly deployable, easily quantifiable, and reliable ways to reduce carbon emissions, they are well-suited to serve as major tools for states to comply with the Clean Power Plan. With the information presented in the Handbook, states will be in a better position to ensure maximum flexibility in developing compliance plans by incorporating renewable energy policies and programs into those plans and, in turn, meeting the carbon reduction goals for their states.

In the pages of the Handbook, you will find detailed information on:

Reasons to take advantage of renewable energy as a compliance tool, such as:

  • Renewable generation prices have drastically fallen over the past several years, with continued price declines expected in future years. o Renewable generation is already reducing carbon emissions across the nation under existing programs.
  • The ease with which the emissions reductions from wind and solar energy can be quantified.
  • Renewable energy sources are rapidly deployable, with utility scale projects typically being completed in slightly over a year, while smaller, distributed projects can be completed much quicker.
  • Dozens of in-depth renewable integration studies confirm that significant amounts of wind and solar energy can be added to the power system without harming reliability.
  • Modern power electronics included in wind and solar facilities provide the same or, in some cases, better grid services than conventional generation.
  • Increased renewable generation diversifies the energy portfolio in a state and protects consumers from fuel price volatility.
  • Renewable generation provides many other environmental and health benefits beyond carbon reduction.

How renewable energy can be used as a compliance tool, including:

  • A summary of what the Clean Power Plan says about using renewable energy in state plans.
  • Wind and solar energy’s existing emissions reductions on a state-by-state basis, existing and potential deployment, cost profile, ability to be reliably integrated into the grid, and scalability.
  • The emission reduction impacts of renewable energy policies and programs, as well as the related health and environmental benefits.
  • The ease of calculating carbon reductions from wind and solar energy.
  • A list of steps that states can use to draft their own compliance plans incorporating renewable energy, and detailed guidance on addressing questions at each step.
  • Sample frameworks of model state compliance plans using renewable energy to meet carbon emission targets.

For additional information, please contact Susan Sloan, Vice President, State Policy, AWEA, ssloan@awea.org or 202.906.9847, and Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, SEIA, sgallagher@seia.org, 202.682.0556. *

To access the report:  http://awea.files.cms-plus.com/FileDownloads/pdfs/Handbook%20for%20States%20final.pdf

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