Clean Energy Legislation in Maryland: What’s the difference?

February 28, 2018

Many people have asked me what the difference is between the 100% Clean Renewable Energy & Equity Act (HB 878), which I am sponsoring, and the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 1453). On the surface, my bill (HB 878) would get Maryland to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035, while HB 1453 seeks to get Maryland to 50% renewable energy by 2030, but the differences are far deeper than just how much renewable energy and by when. I’ve included a comparison chart below. Happy reading, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Item 100% Clean Renewable Energy & Equity Act (HB 878) Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 1453)
Mandate and Timeline 100% clean electricity by 2035, and 72% by 2030. In-state solar rising steadily to 42%, in-state offshore wind steadily to 35%. Electricity imports cut from about 40% to 23% in 2035. 50% renewable energy credits by 2030. At least 14.5% in-state solar, and no more than 10% offshore wind. Solar requirement tops out at 14.5% in 2028.
Definition of Renewable Solar, wind, tidal, small hydro Solar, wind, tidal, small hydro, biomass, poultry litter, landfill methane, black liquor
Approach to Current RPS Changes RPS to require Power Purchase Agreements for utility scale electricity, both in-state and in the PJM grid region. Solar has direct cash rebates instead of volatile solar RECs (SRECs), which have collapsed in price causing distress in the solar industry. Owners of pre-legislation solar would be compensated in cash over six years in lieu of SRECs. Maintains current system of RECs. Except for solar and offshore wind energy, allows the purchase of unbundled RECs (electronic certificates) from other states to count towards goal. Over half of the 50% RPS would consist of non-solar and non-offshore wind unbundled RECs, mostly going out of state.
Workforce Assistance Workforce training for placement in the renewable energy industry, funded by compliance fees. Access to capital for clean energy businesses and apprenticeship programs, funded by Strategic Energy Investment Fund.
New Programs Solar megawatt block program: specific rebates to residential, commercial, community and utility scale solar. Community scale is moved from pilot to permanent. Long-term contracts for offshore wind would provide more than 2,400 MW by 2030. Clean Energy Workforce Account added to Maryland EARN program to evaluate effectiveness of workforce development programs.
Justice & Equity Caps residential energy bills at 6% of household income for low income households. Funding for access to capital is directed to minority, women, and veteran-owned clean energy businesses.
Planning for "Grid of the Future" Requires the PSC to examine how to modernize the business model of Maryland’s electric utilities, needed to accommodate growing distributed renewables, storage, and transportation. Calls for cost benefit analysis of expanding current RPS to 100% renewable energy.

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