State Representative Bart Korman has sponsored a bill to reclassify electricity generated at any sized hydroelectric plant as renewable.
Under current standards, only hydro-electric power produced at small plants qualifies as renewable. The change could matter to the state’s power companies, which must ramp up their renewable energy sourcing from two percent to fifteen percent in the next eight years.
Korman – a Republican from High Hill – says that’s an unrealistic goal.
"We don’t have very much renewable energy out there. To get to a 15 percent by 2021, we’re going to have to do a few things, or purchase renewable energy credits," Korman says.
But changing the definition of “renewable” doesn’t achieve the goal of the standards, according to P.J. Wilson, head of the nonprofit Renew Missouri. The organization is fighting the bill. Korman says it may come before the full House for a vote next week.