June 17th, 2013
When it comes to evaluating our energy options, policymakers typically perform cost-benefit analyses. That seems pretty uncontroversial, right? Where it gets squirrelly is in the selection of ingredients. What costs to include? Short term costs, or long-term? Include externalities? If a particular technology emits pollutants that threaten life on earth as we know it, how much should that matter? That kind of thing.
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June 13th, 2013
Great news from New York. No – it’s not that lawmakers have successfully delivered massive solar legislation to the Governor’s desk (YET!). But almost as great. In anticipation of an explosion of solar growth from Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative, the New York Public Service Commission just approved a decision to triple the state’s net metering cap. More details and the decision can be found here.
Net metering empowers New Yorkers to use rooftop solar and other small-scale renewables to meet their own electricity needs. Like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill, net metering gives renewable energy customers fair credit on their utility bills for power they put back on the grid for others to use. Vote Solar has worked hard to encourage the state to expand this fundamental customer right (our comments here), and we’re happy to see this decision supporting more clean, safe, reliable energy for a state that desperately needs it. » Read the rest of this entry «
May 31st, 2013
This is getting real, folks. California legislators voted this week to advance two different bills that open up access to solar to the 75+ percent of energy customers who can’t put it on their own roof. Here’s the skinny on the two bills and what we need you to do to make sure shared solar becomes a reality in California this legislative session.
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May 13th, 2013
With the year nearly half done, here’s the solar scoreboard–updates from things we’ve been working on, and a selection of other notable solar victories. » Read the rest of this entry «
May 3rd, 2013
Last week North Carolina celebrated a victory for the good guys with the defeat of legislation to repeal the state’s renewable energy goal. Bad news. Like a something out of a zombie flick, the bad bill is back from the dead.
Senate backers used shady tactics and a disputed voice vote to resurrect the bill in a committee. Turns out that acting against the interests of the state and its people is a lot easier if you don’t have to worry about counting real votes. If this bill gets passed into law, it would mean lights out for renewable energy investment in the state. Now that’s scary. » Read the rest of this entry «
May 2nd, 2013
Sunny news from the Sunshine State. A bill to provide a property tax abatement for residential solar installations has sailed through both houses of the state legislature and now just needs the Governor’s signature to become law. This will ensure that when homeowners make solar and other renewable energy investments to bring their utility bills down, their property taxes won’t go up. Big thanks to our Florida members who spoke up in support of this common sense solar policy.
More of this kind of policy leadership is what Florida needs to start making good on its nickname. According to our friends at SEIA, the Sunshine state currently ranks third in the nation for solar potential, but all the way down at 17th for solar capacity installed in 2012. More solar power would mean more consumer control over power bills, more local energy investment, and a healthier environment for us all. Go Florida go!
April 30th, 2013
With over 250 megawatts producing enough power for about 31,000 homes, Arizona has installed more rooftop solar than almost any other state. Residents of this sunny state see solar power as a no-brainer. They’re reducing their utility bills and investing in a competitive local solar industry in one fell swoop.
But not everyone is happy with so many Arizonans going solar. The state’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service (APS), is currently working to slow down rooftop solar growth by rolling back its net metering policy. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 24th, 2013
Solar is really shining in Albany’s Earth Day activities this year. Yesterday the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation to extend the successful NY-Sun program for 10 years and make New York a real solar powerhouse – on to the Assembly! Between the Senate vote and the Governor introducing similar legislation of his own earlier this week, there’s serious momentum for major solar policy coming out of New York this session. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 18th, 2013
Way up North, clean energy advocates in Minnesota are working hard to pass one of the most ambitious solar energy bills anywhere in the country this year. The Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs Act (HF956 and SF901) would increase the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to 40 percent by 2030, tying it with Hawaii for the most aggressive clean energy goal in the nation. In addition, the bill would ensure that a whopping 4 percent of the state’s power supply comes from solar energy.
And it doesn’t stop there! » Read the rest of this entry «
April 18th, 2013
Solar jobs are local jobs, and this morning our friends at The Solar Foundation released a fun new tool for showing just what that means all across
the country. The State Solar Jobs Map provides solar job census data for each of the fifty states.
According to the census, our nation’s top ten solar job creators are:
- California - 43,700 jobs
- Arizona - 9,800 jobs
- New Jersey - 5,700 jobs
- Massachusetts - 4,500 jobs
- Pennsylvania – 4,000 jobs
- Colorado - 3,600 jobs
- New York – 3,300 jobs
- Texas - 3,200 jobs
- Michigan - 3,000 jobs
- Ohio - 2,900 jobs » Read the rest of this entry «