Upcoming laws that may change the energy generation and distribution landscape [Infographic]

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Upcoming laws that may change the energy generation and distribution landscape [Infographic]

Clean energy initiatives have been shaping energy markets across the U.S. for decades, but significant changes are on the horizon regarding to how energy companies do business today and what the industry's climate will look like in the years to come.

Clean Power Plan
Perhaps no green energy initiative has received more press in recent months than the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. Originally, states pushed back against the the regulation's first draft. After the initial version was rolled out, lawmakers took issue with its timetable, arguing the immediacy made compliance difficult or next to impossible, especially for coal-fired generators.

However, President Obama relaxed the final draft of the CPP, extending the first benchmark from 2020 to 2022 to aid in more consummate compliance. Additionally, though the ultimate deadline for carbon emissions reductions held at 2030, the president bumped up the amount reduced overall from 30 percentage points to 32.

Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015
If congress passes the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the federal government will have the legislative power to repeal part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. This earlier bill set a 2030 deadline for the U.S. government to relinquish its dependence on fossil fuels.

Golden State Standards Act of 2015
The California senate may soon expand the state's renewable energy portfolio standards. If passed, these Golden State Standards will, among other things, significantly increase the percentage of annual capacity statewide private utilities will need to devote to renewables like wind and solar.

National Clean Energy Summit
Distributed energy resources for the residential and commercial sectors have been a burgeoning disruptive force in the energy industry over the last few years and will continue to play a major role in the future of grid modernization. This technology was an especially prominent point of discussion at the National Clean Energy Summit last August, which will likely forecast extensive executive actions to come.

Too many discrepancies
In a more general sense, while wind energy has long provided valuable clean power to the national electrical grid, variations in zoning regulations from state to state – and even city to city – have proven restrictive to growth. In some instances, wind energy installations have even led to legal action. For this renewable energy source to truly take off, this complexity may require attention at the federal level.

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