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EIA Reviews Clean Energy Standard Legislation

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (S. 2146) earlier this spring. The bill would require large-scale electric utilities to produce gradually increasing amounts of electricity from clean energy sources – including increased power production from biomass, waste and reside streams, and combined heat and power plants.

At his request, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reviewed the legislation to determine how it might affect energy prices, alter the electric power industry, and reduce greenhouse gases through 2035.

The EIA found that under the legislation, power production from natural gas, nuclear, wind, and biomass would increase the most, while coal would drop sharply. The agency estimated that electricity prices would not be impacted until after 2020, at which time they would increase by about 18 percent, while greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation would be reduced by 44 percent.

Furthermore, the EIA found that power generation from wood and other biomass would grow from about 38 billion kilowatt hours (KWH) in 2010 to 257 billion KWH by 2035 – producing almost 45 percent (80 billion KWH) more per year than under the reference scenario. Click here to view the full report.