Renewable Energy Initiative Benefits, Costs Addressed

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Delaware’s use of renewable energy would significantly increase under legislation introduced in the State Senate. It’s designed to expand the volume of energy generated from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2035.

State Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View) told WGMD’s Mike Bradley some analysis shows that previous caps on utility bill increases to cover the higher costs of renewable energy have largely been ignored.

“Why is that on the backs of Delmarva Power customers? Why is it on the backs of good paying jobs coming to the state?” Hocker said.

Hocker added that higher power bills have discouraged economic growth in Delaware.

State Senator Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown) said the legislation builds upon previous efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

“We have long known that an over-reliance on fossil fuels comes with a steep cost to our environment, our health and future,” Hansen said. “Thanks to the work of my former colleague Sen. Harris McDowell, Delaware has made great strides in reducing our dependence on petroleum and coal for our energy needs. This legislation will build on those efforts by ensuring we continue our shift to clean, sustainable energy sources for years to come.” 

Sponsors of Senate Bill 33 said it also addresses concerns around the Renewable Portfolio Standard’s renewable energy credits and solar alternative compliance payments.

One part of the bill states that it “eliminates “cost-cap” mechanism for freezing the RPS and replaces it with a market-based mechanism.”