May 28, 2013

North Carolina Renewable Energy Policy Stays in Force

Remember the bill in North Carolina that would repeal the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)? 

It's gotten a reprieve because it didn't get to the floor by the mid-May deadline. It won't be voted on during this session of the legislature.

The bill is stalled in committees in both the state's Senate and House because it has failed to get support from some Republicans.

ALEC and Americans for Prosperity have been pushing for the bill - ALEC's Electricity Freedom Act," as part of their effort to eliminate support for renewable energy in US states.  

The inability to move the bill out of committee shows the conflict Republicans feel about whether to support renewable energy, which has been a boon for North Carolina.

There are over 100,000 green jobs in the balance and hundreds of solar companies are in the state. North Carolina is now 4th in the US for new solar installations because of the RPS.

Although solar has seen the most growth under the RPS, it covers all renewables, including biogas, which local farms are interested in. Solar is also popular with farmers.

A local developer is planning a 100 MW solar plant, the biggest in the east, and Apple now boasts the biggest corporate-owned solar PV and fuel cell system, there.

16 states are considering similar legislation right now, more than half the states that have an RPS. 

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