US lawmaker introduces binding 50% RE target

A bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the US Congress requiring a 50% Renewable Energy Standard (RES) by 2035.

Senator Tom Udall introduced the bill requiring the US hits 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035

This would put the US on a trajectory to decarbonise the power sector by 2050, said the bill’s main sponsor, senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.

The much-vaunted Green New Deal, introduced into Congress in February by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and senator Ed Markey, calls for 100% renewables by 2030.

The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) Act of 2019, however requires utilities to achieve at least 50% green energy — whereas the Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution.

"America can no longer afford inaction on climate change — that is why I am proud to introduce legislation that meets this challenge and demonstrates that America is still a leader in renewable energy," said Udall. 

"Senator Udall’s National Renewable Electricity Standard proposes a flexible framework for states to make meaningful power-sector carbon emissions cuts, fueled by market competition between renewable energy technologies," said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. 

Several states, including California and New Mexico, have adopted legislation to require at least 50% clean energy generation by 2030.