Thermal Energy Study Bill Introduced in Oregon
A bill that would direct the Oregon Department of Energy to perform a study and convene an advisory group on renewable thermal energy and renewable gas has been introduced in the state’s House of Representatives. Oregon House Bill 3036 is sponsored by Representatives Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-46), Daborah Boone (D-32), Lew Frederick (D-43), David Gomberg (D-10), Mitch Greenlick (D-33), Jenifer Williamson (D-36), and Bradley Witt (D-31).
The legislation defines “Renewable thermal energy” as heat generated from biomass, solar thermal, ground source and water source heat pumps and geothermal sources, and used for space heating, water heating or commercial or industrial processes. HB 3036 directs that the Department of Energy’s study of renewable thermal energy include reviews of:
- The use of renewable thermal energy for residential, institutional, commercial and industrial applications in Oregon, including an analysis of sources and development costs;
- Renewable thermal energy and renewable gas technologies available in Oregon;
- Opportunities to expand the use of renewable thermal energy… in Oregon;
- The economic effects of the expanded use of renewable thermal energy… in Oregon, including effects related to business development, job creation and energy cost savings;
- The environmental effects of the expanded use of renewable thermal energy… in Oregon, including effects related to greenhouse gas and other emissions; and
- Mechanisms, including incentives and mandated minimum requirements, to expand the use of renewable thermal energy… in Oregon.
In addition to the review described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, the study shall analyze the following uses of renewable thermal energy:
- Meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
- Enhancing the diversity of Oregon’s fuel supply.
- Utilizing local energy resources.
- Leveraging Oregon’s existing gas network.
- The department shall report the results of the study to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to environment and natural resources on or before Dec. 13, 2013.
The legislation also directs the Director of the State Department of Energy to convene an advisory group to develop policies and recommendations to promote the development of renewable thermal energy and renewable gas in Oregon. “The advisory group shall be composed of stakeholders that represent the interests of agriculture, forestry, building trades, environmental communities, regulatory communities, economic development communities, renewable energy advocates, electric utilities and natural gas utilities. The advisory group shall focus on the use of renewable thermal energy and renewable gas in meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, stimulating local economies and providing jobs, enhancing the diversity of Oregon’s fuel supply, utilizing local energy resources and leveraging the existing gas network. The advisory group shall report its recommendations to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to environment and natural resources on or before June 30, 2014.”