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4 US States Scoring Under-the-Radar Clean Energy Wins



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Published in May 25, 2019 |
by the World Resources Institute

May 25, 2019 by World Resources Institute


Originally published on the blog of the World Resources Institute.
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In the U.S, the drop in the cost of renewable energy It means the economic case to invest in. renewable It is stronger than ever. Throughout the country, from South Carolina to Nevada, the states are taking new measures to take advantage of wind and solar energy. Since January, more than 10 state legislatures have enacted policies that encourage the development of new renewable energies.

Image by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica

State action that promotes a friendly market for renewable energies, either by eliminating unnecessary price barriers or by establishing state clean energy targets, can make all the difference to add more renewable energy to the grid. While some states such as California, Hawaii and Massachusetts have ambitious internationally recognized policies, many more are taking significant new steps to close the policy gap that limits the development of clean energy. And this is happening in states beyond the established precursors. Here are just some of the states that are winning:

Arkansas allows third party contracts for solar energy

Like many of its neighbors in the southeastern United States, Arkansas has ample untapped solar potential. Although solar generation grew more than 500% last year, its incipient industry still ranks 32th nationwide. This year, things are ready to escalate significantly: with the approval of the Solar Access Law in March, Arkansas became the last state to allow third parties to fund solar developments, opening the door for buyers to develop new projects and boost employment for Arkansans.

The bipartisan solar access law was passed by the state legislature with only a handful of dissenting votes, and was supported by large and small businesses, as well as local environmental organizations. An important supporter was Walmart, based in Arkansas, which aims to boost its operations with 50% renewable energy by 2025. The company recently signed contracts for 46 solar projects in five states, and is now ready to take advantage of the Sun shine in your home state.

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Walmart, based in Arkansas, supported a policy in the state to encourage solar developments. Photo of Walmart.

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Walmart, based in Arkansas, supported a policy in the state to encourage solar developments. Photo of Walmart.

South Carolina ends caps on net metering

The Energy Freedom Act, which is expected to be signed by the governor of South Carolina, garnered strong support not only from both political parties, but also from public services, as well as from community members and energy advocates. solar. The bill raises limits on the number of homes that can install solar panels on roofs. It also allows new customers to block the net metering of the retail rate, which allows them to obtain credits on their utility bills for the excess electricity generated by the solar installations on their property.

The policy also aims to help commercial and industrial consumers by allowing some large buyers to obtain large-scale solar contracts for 10 years with utility companies. Longer contracts give buyers less financial risk and reduce the frequency of permitting processes. And as the solar market grows in South Carolina, it is likely to boost demand for solar installers, the fastest growing occupation in the US. UU

Maine reengages in renewables

The new governor of Maine, Janet Mills, was chosen on a platform to put Maine back on track towards a renewable future. Shortly after taking office, Mills abolished a moratorium on new onshore wind projects and said it is eager to develop a offshore wind industry on the Maine coast, which has the largest offshore wind potential in the northeastern United States.

Governor Mills also replaced a gross net metering policy, a system that charged transmission and distribution fees on all electricity generated by rooftop solar panels, even if that energy did not leave the building where it was generated. The new policy uses a standard policy of net metering that encourages customers to install solar panels on their roofs, compensating them for any unused electricity that enters the network.

Just a few weeks ago, Mills presented legislation to set targets for 80% of the state's energy from renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Although the bill has not yet been voted on, it has already received bipartisan support and A leading Republican sponsor in the state Senate. Maine already obtains 75% of its energy from hydroelectric dams, wind turbines and biomass, and these new policies could allow the state to develop a wind and solar market large enough to export energy to other states.

Nevada to add solar capacity and jobs

Adopted unanimously, along party lines on Earth Day, Nevada's new energy law requires the state to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and notes that Silver State is not happy with its existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which by 2025, 25% of the state's energy portfolio comes from renewable sources. Although its previous RPS helped Nevada to promote the fourth largest solar market in the US. UU., The new requirement means that the state must develop additional renewable energy facilities. The government believes that it could add up to 11,170 full-time jobs and $ 1.5 billion in economic activity.

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High school students in Nevada discuss the solar array at their school. Photo of Black Rock Solar.

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High school students in Nevada discuss the solar array at their school. Photo of Black Rock Solar.

2019 and beyond: a clean energy future for the US UU

These states are not alone in removing barriers and creating incentives for the development of renewable energy this year. Lawmakers in Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all among the top ten US issuers, are discussing policies that could make renewable energy options more competitive in their regional energy markets. By creating enabling environments at the state level, these policies allow cities, utilities, businesses and individuals to drive the clean energy revolution in the US. UU


Tags: Arkansas, Clean Jobs Nevada, Energy Freedom Act, gross net metering policy, higan, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Solar Access Law, South Carolina, Walmart


About the Author

World Resources Institute is a global research organization covering more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia and the United States. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn great ideas into action to maintain our natural resources, the basis of economic opportunity and human well-being. Get more information at www.wri.org



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