Colorado Senate passes bill increasing renewable energy use for co-ops

ASU solar

The Colorado Senate narrowly passed a bill Monday that would increase the renewable energy usage requirement for the state’s rural cooperative utilities. The bill passed with a vote of 18-17 and will now go to the state’s House of Representatives.

The bill requires that rural electric cooperatives generate 25 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2020, an increase from the standard of 10 percent set in 2007.

According to a release from the Colorado Senate, utility bills will not go up more than 2 percent because of the renewable energy standard, and many bills will stay the same or decrease. The bill does not prevent rural energy cooperatives from raising utility costs because of fossil fuels, however.

Colorado’s attempt to increase its renewable energy standard comes at a time when many states are looking at lowering or repealing renewable energy standards. The U.S. Energy Information Administration states there are 29 states that have set requirements for renewable energy usage. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 14 of those states have introduced bills that would remove or reduce the amount of energy that is required to be produced by renewable sources in the standards.

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