(Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s overwhelming renewable energy target has undermined growth in industries around the state, leaving employment and electricity savings on the table, companies say.
Comments were received at a recent hearing of the Home Consumer Affairs Committee at the Penn State Brandywine Campus in Delaware County. The majority of the state’s 426 registered PV companies operate in the southeastern corner of the state.
However, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said that if only the state renewed some of its policies to encourage more investment, the industry could still prosper.
Of the 13 states within PJM, the regional power grid operator, nearly 1 GW of solar power plants in Pennsylvania outnumber only West Virginia and Kentucky. Scott Elias, senior manager of state affairs at SEIA, said the low goals of solar energy procurement in Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) have been largely criticized.
“Some states have more aggressive goals,” he said. “By 2030, even 2.5% will increase demand in Pennsylvania.”
First established in 2004, AEPS requires electricity suppliers to source a certain percentage of electricity from alternative energy sources such as solar and wind farms. The law raised the mandate for Tier 1 resources from 1.5% in the first year to 8% in the 15th year. However, the target for solar procurement is only 0.5%.
In the next decade and a half, alternative energy targets in the surrounding states have skyrocketed beyond Pennsylvania’s targets. For example, in Virginia, the state government has adopted a plan to source up to 50% of its electricity from renewable resources over the next decade. Mandates will dial up to 100% by 2050.
Pennsylvania’s current AEPS target expired in May.Bipartisan Senate suggestion Raising Tier 1 resources from 8% penetration to 18% is still on the committee.
Two senators from different parties on different sides of the state say the bill will boost the economy, create jobs and address climate change by building a clean energy portfolio in Pennsylvania. It was from R-Erie’s Dunraflin and D-Philadelphia’s Art Haywood). ..
Elias said in a hearing that the significant growth over the last two decades has transformed solar energy into a $ 25 billion industry.
“The PV industry here in Pennsylvania means business. It has invested nearly $ 3 billion here and employs more than 4,000 workers,” he said.
According to the association, more than 786 MW of solar energy in Pennsylvania powers about 97,000 households. It ranks the state 22nd in the country for the introduction of solar power.
Not enough for R-Media Rep. Chris Quinn.
“Pennsylvania has always been a major producer of energy in all its production,” he said. “I can’t allow the Federation to lag behind. I look forward to more work in the PV industry.”
Quinn sponsored Specification In June, apart from the AEPS requirement, and in addition, solar energy procurement will be increased to 2% by 2029. We are waiting for the committee to consider it.
PECO’s Energy Policy Manager Tom Bonner has agreed to increase investment in the state by dialing up standard portfolio goals. PECO powers 1.6 million customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and proposes to raise its solar power target to 5% by 2030.
“Expanding AEPS requirements is the most efficient way to continue solar power in the state,” he told the Commission.
Republican President Rob Matzie, R-Ambridge, said, “It’s on record in support of Pennsylvania’s all-in-energy portfolio.”
“This includes renewable energies such as solar,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for members to get information about where we are, what it takes to reach that diversity, and, in my judgment, the energy mix we need.”
Diversification of the state’s energy portfolio – Dominant With Natural Gas, Coal and Nuclear – It becomes more important as the state’s regulatory process for participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative enters its final stages.
RGGI limits carbon emissions from the electricity sector to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Pennsylvania will be the twelfth state to join the consortium, but legal opposition and legislative interference are expected to slow down the process.