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Delaware Senate Democrats

Sen. Stephanie Hansen Introduces Legislation to Enhance Delaware’s Use of Renewable Energy

January 13, 2021

DOVER – Sen. Stephanie Hansen this week introduced legislation designed to significantly increase our state’s use of renewable energy over the coming decade.

Senate Bill 33 would extend Delaware’s landmark Renewable Portfolio Standard law and gradually expand the volume of energy generated from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2035.

“We have long known that an over-reliance on fossil fuels comes with a steep cost to our environment, our health and future,” said Hansen, D-Middletown, who chairs the Senate Environment & Energy Committee. “Thanks to the work of my former colleague Sen. Harris McDowell, Delaware has made great strides in reducing our dependence on petroleum and coal for our energy needs. This legislation will build on those efforts by ensuring we continue our shift to clean, sustainable energy sources for years to come.”

Created in 2005, Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard creates a competitive market for utilities to acquire a certain percentage of their retail electricity from renewable sources, such as wind or solar energy, each year. Those utilities can either generate electricity from renewable sources themselves or purchase credits from producers who have used renewable sources.

Under the current law, Delaware’s lone regulated utility acquires 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The state’s electric cooperative and its municipal utilities are invited to voluntarily meet the same standard, and the industry is on pace to meet that goal.

SB 33 would build on the goals set by the original Delaware Renewable Portfolio Standard and continue its progress for another decade. The legislation also addresses issues around the Renewable Portfolio Standard’s renewable energy credits and solar alternative compliance payments.

“For far too many years, companies’ practices have taken a heavy toll on our environment. Especially here in low-lying Delaware, where sea-level rise is a top concern, it’s especially critical we take action to prevent ecological disaster,” said Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Brookside, the lead House sponsor. “Across the country, renewable portfolio standards are proven to be an effective solution to transitioning away from harmful fossil fuels toward clean, green energy like solar, wind and geothermal. Here in Delaware, utilities are on target to meet the 2025 goal of 25 percent renewable energy, so it makes good sense to establish new, bold goals for our RPS program.”

Additional co-sponsors include Sen. Trey Paradee, the vice chair of the Senate Environment & Energy Committee; Rep. Deb Heffernan and Rep. Krista Griffith, chair and vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee; and Rep. Dave Bentz, vice chair of the House Energy Committee. Rep. Sherae’a Moore is also a co-prime sponsor of the bill.

SB 33 is slated to be heard in the Senate Environment & Energy Committee at 1 p.m. on Jan. 19. To join committee meetings, visit and look for the Legislative Calendar under the Public Notice section of the website for a list of upcoming meetings or visit the Committee Meetings page of the respective chambers. Click on the appropriate committee to open the full meeting notice. Advance registration is required and can be completed by clicking on the Virtual Meeting Link.

SB 33 also will be a topic of discussion during the inaugural Energy and Climate Online Forum & Discussion Series at 2 p.m. on Friday hosted by Sen. Hansen, Rep. Heffernan and Rep. Bill Bush, chair of the House Energy Committee. Members of the public who wants to attend should RSVP in advance by emailing Sen. Hansen’s legislative assistant Jenn Parrish at