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Vermont's renewable energy businesses are calling for the state to meet 20% of its total energy consumption with renewable energy, conservation and efficiency by 2020, according to Renewable Energy Vermont (REV).

REV's board of directors laid out the near-term "20 by 2020" goal to its membership at the business group's annual conference and exposition Tuesday. The group says the goal is critical to address climate change, strengthen the local economy and meet Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan, which calls for the state to get 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050 across all sectors, including its transportation and thermal heating and cooling needs.

"Vermont has set an ambitious goal, and we can't simply wait to take steps toward meeting it. States all around us, New York and Massachusetts among them, have similarly ambitious goals,” says REV Executive Director Gabrielle Stebbins. “By setting the near-term goal of 20 percent by 2020, we can begin the path to a more renewable and energy-secure Vermont."

According to REV, across all energy sectors - electrical, transportation and thermal uses - Vermont consumes 5,000 MW of energy, with approximately 11% (550 MW) of it coming from renewables.

By 2020, the group estimates that Vermont will need to conserve, supply or contract for 450 MW of new energy through investments in renewable, conservation and efficiency. REV recommends 158 MW of solar, 112 MW of conservation, 68 MW of wind, 63 MW of efficiency, 45 MW of bioenergy and 4 MW of hydro.

In addition, REV has outlined specific policy recommendations for achieving the 20% by 2020 goal, including expanding Vermont's Standard Offer Program to deliver an expansion of community-scale solar and wind up to 5 MW; establishing a carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions; and implementing a renewable portfolio standard on par with other states in the region.



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