States have been active in adopting or increasing renewable portfolio standards, and 29 states now have them. These standards require utilities to sell a specified percentage or amount of renewable electricity. The requirement can apply only to investor-owned utilities (IOUs) but many states also include municipalities and electric cooperatives (Munis and Co-ops), though their requirements are equivalent or lower.
In many states, standards are measured by percentages of kilowatt hours of retail electric sales. Two states, however, require specific amounts of renewable energy capacity rather than percentages. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 20 states and Washington, D.C., have percentage-based cost caps in their RPS bills to limit increases in ratepayers’ bills. One state caps RPS gross procurement costs.
Renewable energy policies help drive the nation’s $36 billion market for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. These policies can be integral to many state efforts to diversify their energy mix, promote economic development and reduce emissions. Twenty-nine states, Washington, D.C., and two territories have adopted an RPS, while nine states and two territories have set renewable energy goals.
|States and territories with Renewable Portfolio Standards
||States and territories with a voluntary renewable energy standard or target
||States and territories with no standard or target
Table: Renewable Portfolio Standards or Voluntary Targets
Note: States and territories listed in italics have voluntary renewable energy goals.
Requirements are listed for all utilities unless otherwise noted.
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