|Posted:||February 18, 2021 02:33 PM|
|From:||Senator Daniel Laughlin and Sen. Art Haywood|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Job Stimulus and Economic Development Growth Through Energy|
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.
Distributed generation (e.g. solar on rooftops) also allows businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, municipalities and homeowners to reap long-term electric bill savings from solar. Creative financing allows them to install solar with little or no money upfront and realize thousands of dollars of savings over the lifetime of the system. Alternative energy credits (AECs) help to make this financing work better and faster for both large scale and distributed renewables.
AEC 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 (AEPS), 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. Most surrounding states are out-competing Pennsylvania. Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and most New England states have goals of 50% by 2030. On April 12, 2020, Virginia enacted a law for 100% clean energy by 2050.
Our legislation would propose the following:
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as SB501