Kansas’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES)—also known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—is intended to increase use of renewable resources in the state by establishing the minimum level of renewable capacity that the state’s electricity providers must own or lease. This legally-established renewable energy capacity goal gradually increases over time to meet the overall target of 20% of peak demand met with renewable power by 2025.
The state profile below explores the design of this policy, highlighting the factors that influence the success of Kansas’s RPS goals and the tradeoffs inherent to it. Once you’re comfortable with the information on this page, you can evaluate the policy’s expected viability with the RPS Feasibility Calculator. You can also use the calculator to change the policy requirements, trajectory, cost cap, and more, to see how altering Kansas’s policy design affects its success.
- 20% of the state’s peak demand capacity from must be met with renewable sources by 2020, subject to the cost cap
- No carve-outs
- Explicit cost cap at 1% of retail rate
Carve-outs can create economic opportunities in the state by introducing new or promising technologies into the market. However, these standards limit the utilities’ ability to substitute between renewable energy sources, potentially increasing the cost of the policy. Kansas does not have any technology requirements.
Compare the goal established in the RPS to what is being achieved.
The following chart compares the variety of sources currently used to generate Kansas’s electricity. The color of each bar is indicative of the carbon intensity of each source.
Cost Cap Details
Kansas has an explicit cost cap at a 1% increase in the retail rate (see K.A.R. 82-16-3(c)). Utilities are not required to meet the RES goal if compliance will cause them to exceed this cap. Unlike other states, Kansas’s penalties for non-compliance will not act as a cost cap, as they are explicitly tied to the REC cost (ACP price = 2×REC cost). Using the RPS Feasibility Calculator you can make adjustments to the cost cap, determining how this impacts the provision of renewable power and the overall viability of the RPS.
Historic retail prices (¢ / kWh)
The above chart presents historical data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the price at which residential customers can purchase electricity. Typically, states set explicit cost caps relative to the retail price (as opposed to the lower wholesale price).
Adopted in May 2009, Kansas’ RPS (K.S.A. Ch. 66 Art. 12 §56–62) requires that total renewable generation capacity be 20% of peak demand by 2020. This RPS is one of the only policies in the country which require a minimum capacity as opposed to a minimum percentage of sales. The Kansas Corporation Commission administers this program.
RPS Technical Details
|Eligible Technologies||Wind, Solar thermal, Photovoltaics, Dedicated crops grown for energy production, Cellulosic agricultural residues, Plant residues, Methane from landfills or wastewater treatment, Clean and untreated wood products (such as pallets), Existing hydropower, New hydropower, Fuel cells using hydrogen produced from renewable sources, Energy storage that is connected to a renewable source|
|Geographic Eligibility||Out of state generation is not prohibited by the KCC as long as it meets the REC requirements outlined in the regulations.|
|Percent of Total Load||81.5%|
|Sectors||Investor-owned utilities, Cooperative utilities|
|Penalty||No penalties for 2011 or 2012. The ‘standard minimum penalty’ after this period is ‘equal to two times the market value during the calendar year of sufficient RECs to have met the portfolio requirement’. (K.A.R. 82-16-3 pg. 646) Penalties can vary if utilities show a ‘good faith effort’ to comply with the RPS.|
Tools and other links
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) RPS data page—Datasets available for download in .xlsx format
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy Analysis Portal—Resources on renewable energy policies, and interactive web tools
- Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. Energy Mapping System—An interactive energy resource map with a myriad of data layers to explore
- DSIRE State RPS Page—Visit for detailed information on RPS and complete legislation
- 2013 KS Retail Rate Impact Report—Details the benefits and costs of Kansas’s RES