ACORE, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offer recommendations for creating federal high-penetration renewable energy standard

Published on October 18, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

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The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati recently released a whitepaper in which the organizations offer recommendations for the design of a federal high-penetration renewable energy standard (RES).

“The renewable sector is booming already, but if we’re going to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change, America needs to dramatically increase the pace of renewable energy deployment, and federal leadership will be key,” ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone said. “A renewable energy standard is a proven, straightforward approach that can help America accelerate its transition to a renewable energy economy.”

The whitepaper, Enacting a Federal High-Penetration Renewable Energy Standard: Building on Proposals to Date and Addressing Important Additional Considerations, lays out recommendations for key features that should be included in a federal high-penetration RES and addresses additional important issues for consideration in the design of such a standard.

According to the whitepaper, qualifying technologies should include, at a minimum, solar, wind, hydropower, tidal, ocean, hydrokinetic, and geothermal energy. It also argues that the required percentage of compliant electricity should be at least 50 percent on a timeline consistent with climate commitments, recommendations from scientific experts, and other policy goals.

The whitepaper also states that Alternative Compliance Payments (ACPs) and penalties should be sufficient to achieve RES objectives and that a federal high-penetration RES should build upon, rather than preempt, successful state renewable energy standards.

“Ten states, more than 100 cities, and over 150 of America’s largest companies have already committed to transitioning to 100% emission-free electricity,” Tim Cronin, an attorney with the energy and infrastructure practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, said. “The United States can bolster and build upon those commitments by enacting a federal standard for this inevitable transition that benefits energy consumers and ensures economic opportunity for communities, like those in my home state of West Virginia, that have powered America’s growth for generations.”