Groups rally against renewable energy bill

E&E • Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013

Groups are pushing back against proposed legislation in Colorado that would eliminate a renewable energy incentive.

The incentive change is a response, in part, to a pending federal lawsuit filed in 2011 that questions its constitutionality.

Although the legislation eliminates the renewable energy tax incentive, it would double the amount of electricity that rural cooperatives must produce from renewable sources by 2020 from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Washington, D.C., think tank American Tradition Institute filed a lawsuit against the incentive on behalf of a Colorado resident.

The lawsuit alleges that the incentive, which gives electric companies a 25 percent bonus for every megawatt-hour of renewable energy generated in state, violates the interstate commerce clause by favoring companies in Colorado and discriminating against out-of-state electric generators.

Sponsor of the bill and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D) said eliminating the incentive would have little impact on the state’s wind and solar power industries. Xcel Energy Inc., the state’s largest energy provider, is already on track to meet the 2020 requirement. But other companies that are scrambling to meet that deadline could be affected.

Energy generation that comes online before 2015 will still be eligible for the bonus (Megan Schrader,Colorado Springs Gazette, May 23).