Southeast would benefit little from national clean energy policy

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Renewable energy generation in Alabama and Georgia wouldn't see significant growth under a national clean energy standard (CES), according to new analysis by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE).

The report cites Energy Information Association (EIA) data, which shows that the two states are projected to receive 95 percent of their power from coal, gas and nuclear sources in 2035. It found that hypothetical clean energy standards would drop that figure 1 to 3 percentage points while increasing the share of nuclear generation.

The SACE report examined two CES proposals, one by Senator Jeff Bingaman and one by Representative Ralph Hall, which were introduced to Congress in 2011.

The report noted that, "Under both CES scenarios, the Southeast becomes the predominant supplier of nuclear energy for the country; meanwhile, renewable energy supplies substantially less electricity than natural gas or even coal-fired generation in the year 2035."

SACE spokesperson Simon Manhan said the alliance wanted to coordinate the report release with the arrival of the 113th Congress, but added that it's a longshot that climate legislation will be major part of the next congress. SACE has not come up with any specific policy alternatives.

"If the EIA analyses have taught us anything, it is that specificity matters on energy and it cannot unsubstantially alter the future. SACE will continue to keep a watchful eye on federal activities surrounding a clean energy standard," Manhan said in a Tuesday web conference.

For more:
-view the report

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