Monday, July 01, 2013

Renewable Energy Law News - Week of July 1, 2013

 Hawaii Governor Signs ‘Game-Changing’ Green Energy Policy Into Law

Gov. Neil Abercrombie packed his ceremonial room today with a rare combination of leaders from the Legislature, HECO, environmental nonprofits and union groups who all support his signing of a progressive new energy policy.

The so-called "green infrastructure" bill is aimed at helping low-income homeowners, renters and nonprofits take advantage of renewable energy technology.

As Richard Lim, the head of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, put it: "We want to promote the democratization of green energy."

Public Utilities Commission Chair Mina Morita underscored the importance of Senate Bill 1087 for thousands of people in Hawaii who struggle to pay the nation’s highest electric rates but can’t afford solar panels for their homes.

The bill will help more people take advantage of renewable energy technology through a new on-bill financing program and low-cost loans.

Colorado Renewable Energy Law Gets Mixed Reactions

Early this month, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a controversial bill that doubles the renewable energy target for rural electric cooperatives.

The new law requires cooperatives to supply 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 — up from a previous requirement of 10 percent by 2020 — among other things.

Noting that the bill was “imperfect,” Hickenlooper also issued an executive order to set up a panel to evaluate the feasibility of the compliance timeline and the cost.

The bill was hotly contested in the legislature, with rural cooperatives, agricultural groups and Republican lawmakers pitted against environmentalists and renewable energy companies in debates. And in the wake of the signing, it continues to create division, though many in this region support it.

One of the law’s major opponents is Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies electricity to the local energy cooperative San Miguel Power Association.

Photo via Flickr.

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