Thursday, December 16, 2021

PA Conservative Energy Forum Supports Solar Energy Development As Economic Driver And Benefit To Landowners

On December 15,
Chad Forcey of the PA Conservative Energy Forum told members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee it is “commited to clean and renewable energy and energy diversity in the Commonwealth.”

“PennCEF believes that renewables like solar, wind and biomass should be included in our proud Pennsylvania ‘all of the above’ energy sector.  For PennCEF, ‘all of the above’ means that renewables deserve full access to markets, in addition to other significant sources like natural gas, nuclear and coal.

“Next-generation solar technologies bring the promise of even greater economic expansion to our strong and diverse energy portfolio.

“Clean and renewable energy jobs now account for the greatest portion of job growth in this sector, as illustrated by the 2020 E2 Clean Jobs Pennsylvania report.

“The report found that Pennsylvania’s clean energy jobs now stand at more than 93,000 and are growing at an annual rate of 6 percent-- a growth rate five times the overall job growth in Pennsylvania.

“Of all the industries documented in this report, the solar industry accounts for the greatest percentage of job growth.

“As we emerge from the ravages of the pandemic, the need for economic recovery is paramount.  In the field of solar, legislation that establishes a level playing field for investors, developers and installers in the solar space can spur greater investments to aid in our economic recovery, while protecting farmers and landowners who want to go solar.”

“I must begin with the fact that solar energy resources are safe, and their development is to the ultimate benefit of landowners.

“Undue red tape that can slow or even halt the process of economic development is to the benefit of neither the solar professional nor the landowner, so working to create a bill that balances out these concerns is of paramount interest.”

“Concerns about what happens to solar equipment following the lifespace of a given system is what has brought us all here today.”

“Solar panels can either be disposed of in landfills, or they can be recycled, due to the high value of various components used in their construction.

“In either case, citizens do not need to worry, as they neither contaminate landfills, nor cause harm to workers at recycling facilities.”

Quoting former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman, a member of the PA Conservative Energy Forum Leadership Council--

“In 2018, a group of fellow Pennsylvania leaders and I launched the Pennsylvania Conservative Energy Forum, a group devoted to ‘all the above’ energy generation that includes new technologies.

“Our organization recognizes that renewable energy must be part of building for the future.

“On my farm, solar panels generate most of the electricity needed for our agricultural operations.”

Forcey concluded by saying, “Coming out of the devastation that Pennsylvania farmers have suffered due to the many economic disruptions of the pandemic, it is of greatest importance that we support their efforts to diversify income and preserve land use.

“Solar is a key component of that process for our farmers.

“It is critical that we craft the regulatory stability that allows them to harvest the sun for energy, as they do for their crops.

“Help for farmers and other rural Pennsylvanians who want to diversify their income with a level playing field in the solar space is of key importance to PennCEF.”

Click Here for a copy of PennCEF’s written testimony.

The House Environmental Committee was holding the hearing on House Bill 2104 (Rapp-R-Warren) that would set minimum decommissioning standards for utility-scale solar energy installations.

Also providing testimony at the hearing were--

-- PA Farm Bureau

-- Solar Energy Industries Association

-- Cypress Creek Renewables

-- Americans Clean Power Association

Written testimony was also provided by--

-- Department of Environmental Protection

-- MAREC Action

Click Here to watch a video of the hearing.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-1707 or sending email to: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7647 or sending email to:

Related Articles:

-- Evangelical Environmental Network: It’s Well Past Time For PA To Transition To A Clean Energy Economy

-- Op-Ed: Community Solar Offers Bright Spot Of Revenue Opportunity - PA Conservative Energy Forum

-- Farm Bureau, Solar Advocates Support Bipartisan Community Solar Legislation That Will Generate $1.8 Billion In Economic Benefits

-- Penn State Study Finds Passing Bills To Authorize Community Solar Would Support 12,000 Jobs, Generate $1.8 Billion In Economic Impact For PA

-- New Poll Shows Bipartisan Support Across Pennsylvania For Passage Of Community Solar Bill

[Posted: December 16, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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