As 2015 kicks off the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) has released an Advanced Energy Legislation 2014 Year in Review. During 2014, the report found that 430 advanced energy bills became law. While the total number of enacted bills decreased from 713 in 2013, CNEE found that percentages of energy legislation by policy category remained stable. This leads the company to predict that interest in energy policy should remain somewhat constant over the next year.
Figure 1. 2014 Enacted Legislation by Policy Category (430 bills)
There were several notable pieces of legislation passed last year including energy legislation in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Maine, Minnesota and Rhode Island. In 2014, South Carolina became the latest state to enact a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) focused on distributed generation while Ohio and Indiana suffered setbacks. Other key actions during the year included state responses to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan proposed rule, along with concerns over revenue shortfalls in the federal Highway Trust Fund due to increased fuel economy and new pipeline safety rules.
A few other key wins for renewable energy included Maine’s new solar standard that will grow the state’s use of solar energy from an estimated 40 MW in 2016 to 500 MW n 2030. Massachusetts added a renewable thermal energy storage standard.
The report was based on CNEE’s Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, a tool for finding and tracking energy legislation by state (and federal). Click here to read.