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Renewable standards in US bring billions of benefits in 2013 - study

Wind and solar power plant in the US. Featured Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com

January 7 (SeeNews) - Renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies have helped the US achieve in 2013 roughly USD 2.2 billion (EUR 2bn) in benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and USD 5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution, a new report shows.

This is based on mid-range estimates for 2013, the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said on Wednesday. Researchers at NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) prepared the study together.

Because of RPS policies, utilities and other electricity providers are required to meet a minimum portion of their load with renewable power. Not only did these policies bring financial benefits, they also helped reduce national water withdrawals and water consumption by fossil-fuel plants by about 830 billion gallons and 27 billion gallons in 2013, respectively. In addition, they supported around 200,000 renewable energy-related jobs during that year.

NREL noted that RPS generation has allowed consumers to save up to USD 1.2 billion from reduced wholesale electricity prices and a further USD 1.3 billion to USD 3.7 billion from lower natural gas prices.

The research conducted by NREL and Berkeley Lab was done with the financial support of the US Department of Energy's Strategic Programs Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.924)

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