Republicans may have gained enough seats in the Kansas House to end the state’s renewable energy standard, and activists on both sides of the issue are preparing for a fight in the next legislative session.
The policy, known as the renewable portfolio standard, requires utility companies to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The standard was passed in 2009 as part of a compromise that included building a coal-fired plant in Holcomb, a project that has not developed because of federal regulations.
Supporters say the standard has been critical for developing the burgeoning wind energy industry in Kansas and that scuttling it would stall growth.
Opponents say the standard will lead to electric rate increases for consumers and that renewable energy should compete with fossil fuels in the free market rather than be mandated by the state.