New RPS Study Group Set to Chart Maryland’s Energy Future

A new work group has been convened to review Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and recommend potential future energy policy actions. The current RPS calls for 25% of the energy used by Maryland to come from renewable sources by 2025 and the state is currently on track to meet this goal.

Legislation passed during the 2017 Session (HB 1414) requires the Department of Natural Resources Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) to to conduct a comprehensive review of the history, implementation, costs and benefits, and effectiveness of Maryland’s RPS standards. The legislation requires the study to examine:

  1. the availability of all clean energy sources at reasonable and affordable rates, including in-state and out-of-state renewable energy options;
  2. the economic and environmental impacts of the deployment of renewable energy sources in the State and in surrounding areas of the PJM energy grid region;
  3. the effectiveness of the RPS in encouraging development and deployment of renewable energy sources;
  4. the impact of alterations that have been made in the components of each energy tier of the RPS, the implementation of different specific goals for particular sources, and the effect of different percentages and alternative compliance payment scales for energy in the tiers;
  5. an assessment of alternative models of regulation and market-based tools that may be available or advisable to promote the goals of the standard and the energy policies of the State; and
  6. the potential to alter or otherwise evolve the standard in order to increase and maintain its effectiveness in promoting the State’s energy policies.

In response to HB 1414, the PPRP created the Maryland RPS Work Group, which held its inaugural meeting on April 26, 2018, and received several background presentations on the current state of renewable energy usage in Maryland, associated costs and grid issues, and projected future trends for solar and wind. Work Group members include representatives from affected State agencies, power utilities, solar and wind companies, energy policy groups, environmental groups, and land preservation groups and the PJM energy grid. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp is the local government representative. The Work Group is staffed by PPRP personnel.

The Work Group must submit a preliminary report to the General Assembly by December 1, 2018, and a final report is due by December 1, 2019. The Work Group terminates after June 30, 2020.

Information about the Work Group, including minutes and presentations made at meetings can be found on the Work Group’s webpage. The next meeting of the Work Group has not yet been scheduled.

Useful Links

RPS Study Work Group Webpage

HB 1414 of 2017