Nixon’s energy plan calls for wind incentives, higher renewables requirement
Missouri should adopt a building code, require power companies to offer efficiency programs and boost the amount of renewable energy utilities have to offer their customers.
Those are among the strongest recommendations contained in Missouri’s new Comprehensive State Energy Plan, released Wednesday during the Midwest Energy Policy Conference in St. Louis.
After Gov. Jay Nixon launched the effort in June 2014, the Missouri Division of Energy has spent more than a year meeting with people, companies and organizations interested in state energy policy. What emerged, said Kristy Manning, the energy division’s policy director, is a plan calling for incremental changes that will give the state time to adapt.
“To some folks’ disappointment, nothing in this plan is revolutionary,” Manning said during her presentation on the new state plan.
Manning tamped down speculation that the plan was intended as a guide for Missouri’s efforts to draft a strategy to comply with new federal rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions. The new regulations, known as the Clean Power Plan, give each state the opportunity to write its own plan to cut the carbon emissions blamed for climate change.
“By and large, the Comprehensive State Energy Plan is not the compliance plan for the Clean Power Plan,” Manning said.
But the plan offers dozens of policy recommendations on everything from better energy education to complex changes in utility regulations.
Among the ideas is a recommendation to adopt a state building code for Missouri’s larger counties. The state is one of only a handful with no minimum building code standards, although many local governments do write their own building codes.
“When buildings use so much energy, you just have to address it,” Manning said.
The document also calls for raising the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to require investor-owned utilities to provide 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. The law already requires they provide 20 percent by 2021.