On October 5, 2015, the Richmond Times Dispatch included an article on the ongoing debate between utilities and renewable energy advocates as to how Virginia will comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan obligates states to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions – which is aimed at cutting carbon emissions from power plants in the United States by a third.
Renewable energy advocates view this requirement as an opportunity to shift Virginia’s power supply from almost entirely depending on coal, natural gas and uranium – to utilizing more renewable energy, including solar facilities. However, utilities argue, among other things, that the cost of such changes would be passed on to ratepayers – resulting in an increase in electricity rates by 20 to 40 percent.
Pursuant to the Clean Power Plan, states have until 2017 to finalize their plans to comply with its terms. The renewable energy lawyers at GreeneHurlocker will continue to closely monitor the energy market as Virginia works towards complying with these requirements.