A U.S. bill that requires utilities to increase their use of power generated by clean sources may drive up power prices for consumers, though not for at least a decade, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 would increase power prices by about 4 percent in 2025, compared with a reference price in a draft of the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2012, the agency said today in a statement on its website.
That gap may increase to as much as 18 percent by 2035 as utilities seek to reduce carbon emissions by shifting their mix of power plants away from coal in favor of natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy.
“Electricity prices, generally speaking, do not experience a significant impact until after 2020,” according to the report. EIA is part of the U.S. Energy Department.
The bill, introduced in March by New Mexico Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman, would require utilities to sell an increasing amount of power generated by “clean” sources annually, starting in 2015.