Governor, Lt. Governor to Make Renewable Energy Mandatory

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TOPEKA, Kan. - Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) and Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson (D-Kan.) Friday announced the legislative components of a comprehensive energy plan for Kansas.

"It's time we take the next step toward a clean energy future. That's why we have developed a vision for a comprehensive energy plan, which will include key legislative efforts," said Sebelius. "Those efforts are based on three principles: create jobs and attract businesses; promote the generation of clean, renewable energy; and lead the way in energy efficiency efforts in state buildings.

"This plan will help us bridge the gap until the day when clean coal technology is a reality," Sebelius said.

"The majority of this plan will be implemented through the Legislature. We recognize that the best way to move forward is to do so in a bipartisan fashion and we welcome all Legislators in this effort," Parkinson said.

The plan's legislative components include:
- Allowing Kansans to generate their own electricity through Net Metering. Net Metering enables customers to use their own generation and effectively sell back the extra electricity they produce.
"I think it's a significant breakthrough that Westar and KCPL have agreed to what we would call full net metering, which would allow a homeowner or small business to run the meter backward to zero at the full cost," Parkinson said.

- Codification of Kansas' existing voluntary Renewable Portfolio Standard
A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a regulatory policy that requires the increased production of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energies.
"As companies that manufacture wind turbins and blades and towers look to states to place plants, they very frequently will not go to a state unless it has a mandatory RPS," Parkinson said.

- Requiring that new or extended state leases for real property and state-owned real property meet energy efficiency standards

- A modification of last year's Cessna legislation to attract and expand wind related manufacturing investment and jobs to Kansas

The Kansas Legislature will convene for the 2009 Legislative Session on Monday, January 12. Governor Sebelius will discuss additional aspects of the comprehensive energy strategy in her State of the State Address that evening.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis issues statement on Governor’s energy plan:

“Governor Sebelius has outlined a forward-looking energy plan that is focused on rebuilding and reviving the Kansas economy. Kansas must move away from old technology and seize the opportunity to become a national leader in the production of renewable energy sources. This plan moves us in that direction.

We are confronting some of the most severe problems we have faced in generations. They didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved in a day, but this is a good starting point for a broader, long-term vision for Kansas. I look forward to working with the Governor to put this plan in motion.”