Most states in the union require utilities to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. A new bill in Congress would take that strategy national.

Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) — cousins, as it happens — introduced legislation this week that would require utilities across the country to generate a quarter of their electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources by 2025.

That’s right in line with Colorado’s current renewable electricity standard, and it’s modest compared to California’s, which calls for utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020. Look abroad and it’s more modest still: Germany generates 23 percent of electricity from renewable sources, with a goal of reaching 80 percent by 2050. Around the world, 138 countries have renewable energy goals or requirements in place.

“Clean energy creates jobs, spurs innovation, reduces global warming and makes us more energy independent,” said Mark Udall. “This common-sense proposal would extend Colorado’s successful effort to expand the use of renewable energy alongside natural gas and coal to the entire nation.”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

But Congress isn’t about to pass anything of the sort. Because, ew, clean energy. The Udalls first introduced similar legislation in 2002, when they were both members of the House, then introduced it again two years ago in Senate. No luck so far — but bonus points for persistence.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Most states have Renewable Portfolio Standards

Energy DepartmentClick to embiggen.