NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Renewable Portfolio Standards offer billions in benefits

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    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Renewable Portfolio Standards offer billions in benefits

    Renewable Portfolio Standards offer billions in benefits, LBNL study finds; Renewables are bringing down power prices in markets across the nation, according to a new report.

    Herman K. Trabish, January 29, 2016 (Utility Dive)

    Renewable portfolio standards that require state’s utilities to obtain minimum portions of their power from New Energy have shown net benefits running into the billions of dollars, according to a new Lawrence Berekley National Laboratory (LBNL) study. The new study evaluates three net benefits of RPSs in dollar terms: Greenhouse gas reductions, air pollution reductions, and water use reductions. It also assesses three impacts considered "net transfers," and are therefore excluded in the cost-benefit calucation: wholesale electricity markets effects, natural gas use and job impacts.

    Reductions in greenhouse gases and air pollution resulted in about $7.4 billion in net benefits in 2013, significantly higher than the $1 billion in annual RPS costs to U.S. utilities estimated in a previous LBNL report. In 2013, as the result of renewable energy generation tied to RPSs, greenhouse gas emissions were cut by 59 million metric tons, alongside major cuts insulfur dioxide (77,400 metric tons), nitrogen oxides (43,900 metric tons), andparticulate matter (4,800 tons). Water withdrawals were reduced by 830 billion gallons with water consumption cut by 27 billion gallons. The $7.4 billion in net benefits came from 2013 numbers when renewable energy made up 2.4% of the U.S. electrical supply. But now, with renewables accounting for about 4.8% of the fuel mix, benefits would likely be significantly greater… click here for more

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