The Pennsylvania governor’s executive action to power 50% of state government with solar shows how dedication and effort will eventually deliver results.
Still, we continue to lag far behind neighboring states like New Jersey and New York in modernizing the power network to combat climate change, increase resiliency and security, reduce the overall cost of energy, and improve our community’s health.
Renewable energy capacity has been growing globally by double digits, setting a 2020 historic record – more than 80% of all new electricity generating projects built were renewable, in turn creating a 10.3% rise in total installed zero-carbon electricity generation.
Pennsylvania is now at its own historic crossroad regarding a policy under review key to accelerating our clean energy trajectory – the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS).
In 2004, the AEPS was enacted to provide economic development opportunities by setting an 8% target for the proportion of electricity generation in the state coming from alternative energy sources, including a low 0.5% solar power carve-out.
Today we have an opportunity to provide feedback on Senate Bill 501 and House Bill 1080 in Harrisburg, which are bipartisan proposals to update AEPS to a modest alternative energy target of 18% by 2026, and to expand the solar carve out to 5.5%.
To compare, neighboring New Jersey sets its alternative energy target at 50% by 2030 while New York aims higher at 70% by 2030.
Beyond becoming the cheapest form of electricity at scale, solar projects employ thousands of locals in high-tech, high-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, and which are ideal landing spots for our citizens being displaced from the remaining skilled oil and gas jobs.
Exact Solar encourages everyone to express your views by contacting your state legislators in reference to these bills in committee.