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Shaheen Reintroduces Bill to Identify and Overcome Barriers to Use of Clean Energy Technologies

Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced the Clean Energy Grid Act. This bill would strengthen our nation’s energy security, reduce pollution, increase electric reliability and spur job creation by improving the deployment of efficient and cost-effective energy resources, such as solar and wind power and energy storage.

Often the cheapest and most reliable energy source, clean energy resources— such as renewables, fuel cells, combined heat and power and backup generators—create electricity at or near the customer with little to no pollution or harmful emissions. The benefits of clean energy can be felt by the users and grid operators. These benefits include energy savings, improved environmental quality, avoided costly investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure upgrades, and enhanced grid resiliency. This is particularly true in the case of distributed energy sources that can function independent of the grid, providing enhanced reliability during extreme weather events, which may compromise central power plants.

Despite the economic, energy and environmental benefits of clean distributed energy resources, complicated regulatory and technical challenges limit its deployment and integration onto the existing grid. For example, the absence of uniform procedures, coupled with excessive fees to connect these efficient and more affordable energy systems to the electric grid, often prevents their more widespread use. The Clean Energy Grid Act addresses obstacles limiting the use of clean distributed energy resources, thereby reducing energy costs and improving the power quality and resiliency of the electric grid.

“Clean energy means more jobs, less pollution and a safer, more sustainable environment. My bill would help knock down the barriers that prevent us from reaching these goals,” said Shaheen. “Whether you’re a family that prefers a cleaner source of power, a small business looking to reduce energy costs, or a grid operator wanting an independent energy source to hold up under extreme weather conditions – the benefits of clean energy are widespread. This bill is a common-sense measure that will incentivize investments in clean energy resources and I urge members on both sides of the aisle to lend their support.”

Shaheen is a champion of efforts to promote energy efficiency in the Senate. Earlier this month, Shaheen reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), bipartisan legislation which will improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial, and the federal government. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) also recently passed a number of Shaheen’s bipartisan energy efficiency legislative priorities, including her bill with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers.

The text of the bill can be found HERE. A one-page summary on the legislation can be found HERE.