Renewable Energy Facing a Headwind

Dec 16, 2013 | State Press Clips, What's New

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

TOPEKA, KAN. — In 2009, supporters of a bill to require an increase in the use of renewable energy said the proposal would make Kansas the “Saudi Arabia” of wind energy.

Four years later, the political wind is blowing toward repealing or changing the law.

Since 2009, wind energy capacity in Kansas has jumped from about 1,000 megawatts to approximately 2,700 megawatts in 2013, with other projects in the planning stages, according to state figures.

But conservative legislators, many affiliated with a national group that opposes mandated goals for renewable energy, plan to renew efforts from the 2013 legislative session to repeal the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The mandate required major utility companies to have the capacity to generate 10 percent of their energy through a renewable source by 2011. It also called for the companies to generate 15 percent of their energy through a renewable source by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

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