Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Senators Laughlin, Haywood Announce Bipartisan Bill To Increase AEPS Solar Share To 5.5%

Senators Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and Art Haywood (D-Montgomery)
recently announced plans to introduce legislation to increase the solar share under the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards from 0.5 to 5.5 percent by 2026.

The 0.5 percent solar share is due to remain at that level after May 2021, unless increased.

"Given our current economic crisis due to COVID-19, in the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that would take advantage of a large economic development opportunity to attract millions of dollars of private investment; grow tens of thousands of jobs; create tax revenue for communities; diversify our energy mix; and present a solution that may save some of our farms without the use of state revenues – through the commonsense expansion of renewable energy.

"Unfortunately, in 2019 alone, Pennsylvania lost more than 5,000 farms. We believe renewable energy development presents a unique opportunity for farmers to receive annual payments for leasing a portion of their land to renewable energy development for 20 years or more; while providing reliable income by planting pollinator-friendly crops that enhance productivity of the adjacent farmlands.

“AEC [Alternative Energy Credit] trading is a market-based program that drives investment into renewables based on supply and demand – as the goal rises, the industry brings investment to build and meet that goal. 

“When the goal is met, investment slows. Pennsylvania is on track to surpass its goal for renewable energy under the current Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards, which drives AEC pricing. 

“The program flat-lines in May 2021 and without an adjustment to this law, Pennsylvania will miss the economic development that other states are experiencing.  

Click Here for more background on the legislation.

Job Generator

According to the Pennsylvania Solar Center, there would be an estimated 50,000 jobs that would be created by going to 5.5 percent solar in the next five years. These jobs would include positions across the employment spectrum, spanning construction, manufacturing, sales, engineering, and finance.

In addition, the Renewables Works for PA Coalition, a group of about 100 renewable energy businesses working to increase AEPS shares, supports the legislation.

The PA Solar Center encourages residents to reach out to their state House and Senate members and let them know they support expansion of the solar share under AEPS.  

Click Here to find your Representative or Senator.

(Photo: Lightsource BP solar farm in Franklin County, from PA Township News.)

Related Articles:

-- Penn State's Solar Energy Partnership Recognized By National APPA Leadership In Educational Facilities

-- PA Township News: Solar Farming: The Next Big Thing?  Rural Communities On The Front Lines Of Solar's Growth

-- Sen. Mensch Introduces Bill To Encourage Development Of Clean Vehicle Infrastructure- Electric, Natural Gas, Hydrogen 

-- Sen. Yaw: ‘If We’re Promoting Electric Vehicles, Then You’re Promoting Mining By Children,’ We Should Look At The Big Picture

-- Sen. Dush: Climate Change Is A ‘Farce,’ ‘Every Time I See A Tesla Out There...I See It Being Carried On The Backs Of Little Black Kids’  

-- Dickinson College Clarke Forum Hosts March 31 How To Use The Planet Without Using It Up Online Program 

-- International Insurance Firm Swiss Re Group Announces Climate Targets-- Exit Coal Business By 2030, Withdraw From Supporting Oil & Gas Production

[Posted: March 17, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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