Rhode Island House Approves 100% RE Offsets  - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 17, 2022

Rhode Island House Approves 100% RE Offsets by 2033

The Rhode Island House of Representatives approved legislation to increase renewable energy production and supply by requiring that 100% of Rhode Island’s electricity be offset by renewable production by 2033.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero. The bill now goes to the Senate, which has approved identical legislation sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence). 

“This bill supports renewable energy growth, and is consistent with the Act on Climate’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by to net-zero by 2050,” said Representative Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) in a statement. “In addition to reducing emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels that must be brought to Rhode Island from other places, creating renewable energy supports the green industry, creating thousands of good paying jobs right here in Rhode Island. We’ve seen a 74% increase in green jobs since 2014, and that trend is going to continue as we deepen our commitment to renewables.”

The legislation (2022-H 7277A) institutes annual increases the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES), the law that requires utility companies to purchase renewable energy certificates representing a certain percentage of the power they sell annually. Those certificates are traded in a regional marketplace.

In 2022, the RES is set at 19% of the retail electricity suppliers that sell in Rhode Island, with the percentage set to increase by 1.5% annually through 2035.

Representative Ruggiero’s bill increases the targets aggressively and if the bill is passed, it would increase by an additional 4% in 2023; 5% in 2024; 6% in 2025; 7% in 2026 and 2027; 7.5% in 2028; 8% in 2029, 8.5% in 2030, 9% in 2031 and 9.5% in 2032 to achieve the goal of 100% of Rhode Island’s electricity demand being offset by renewable energy by 2033.

While the RES does not guarantee that the actual energy used in Rhode Island came from a renewable source, nor does it prohibit any utilities from supplying energy generated by fossil fuel, it does result in the generation of a corresponding amount of renewable energy in the region and encourages construction of renewable projects. 

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