States Promoting Solar Energy

RALEIGH, N.C. — Some focus on the sun, others on the wind, and at least one includes a role for pig power.

While the particulars vary, state laws requiring electric utilities to use renewable energy sources to help curb greenhouse-gas emissions and meet growing power demands are rapidly becoming the norm.

Laws in Washington, New Hampshire and Oregon are less than a year old. On Monday, Gov. Mike Easley signed a bill into law in North Carolina. Exactly half of the states are now on board, and Congress is mulling a national measure.

The new law in North Carolina, like many of the others, will mean that a percentage of the electricity powering homes five years from now will come from the sun and other renewable sources, including, in this case, pig waste.

Following the states’ lead, the House of Representatives voted this month for a 15% standard for electric utilities nationwide. The requirement would go to President Bush for approval if it makes the cut when the House and Senate merge their energy legislation.

from usa today

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