With all but eight state legislative sessions closed for 2014, Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) has released its 2014 Year in Review of State Advanced Energy Legislation.
The paper includes the following highlights:
Thus far in 2014, 430 advanced energy bills have become law. While the total number of enacted bills decreased from 713 in 2013, the percentages of energy legislation by policy category held relatively stable across the two sessions. This trend suggests that interest in various energy policies may remain somewhat constant year to year.
In 2014, 48 electricity generation bills were enacted, with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and net energy metering (NEM) continuing to see the greatest legislative activity. So far in 2014, 14 RPS-related changes have been enacted by 12 states. Recently enacted NEM legislation primarily relates to credit eligibility. Enacted legislation relating to the installation of renewable energy, with one exception—Washington HB 1717—emphasizes solar.
Notable advanced energy-related legislation was enacted in California (AB 2188), Hawaii (SB 632), Nevada, Maine (SP 644), Minnesota (HF 2834), and Rhode Island (HB 7727, HB 7991). South Carolina (SB 1189) became the latest state to enact an RPS, focused on distributed generation.
Energy efficiency legislation was the least active category in 2014, with 23 bills enacted. State government “Lead by Example” policies were the most commonly enacted policy type. Interestingly, Indian’s SB 340 eliminated energy efficiency goals in that state.
States responded to a number of federal policy developments, notably the EPA’s Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule, the federal Highway Trust Fund and new pipeline safety rules released by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.