Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors Sup­port Re­new­able En­ergy De­spite Trump

Trillions - - In This Issue -

Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors in Florida and Ne­vada signed bills in June to sup­port so­lar in their states after pre­vi­ously sup­press­ing so­lar en­ergy.

In Florida, Gover­nor Rick Scott signed Sen­ate Bill 90, a mea­sure that will ex­pand tax breaks for re­new­able en­ergy sources such as so­lar pan­els on com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial build­ings. The bill ex­tends re­new­able-en­ergy tax breaks al­ready given to res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties and ex­empts a per­cent­age of the as­sessed value of re­new­able in­stal­la­tions from prop­erty taxes.

S.B. 90 re­ceived unan­i­mous sup­port in both the Florida House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and its Sen­ate but was not voted on un­til the end of the leg­isla­tive ses­sion. It was a com­pro­mise so­lu­tion to im­ple­ment a clean-en­ergy con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment ap­proved by 73% of Florida vot­ers last Au­gust.

Florida's so­lar in­dus­try is rel­a­tively small de­spite large ca­pac­ity and mas­sive need. The state cur­rently ranks only 13 in the na­tion for in­stalled ca­pac­ity, although it is third in tech­ni­cal so­lar po­ten­tial. Florida was pre­vi­ously ranked as one of the 10 worst states for block­ing dis­trib­uted so­lar with bad poli­cies.

In Ne­vada, Gover­nor Brian San­doval signed Assem­bly Bill 405, which re­in­states a frame­work for own­ers of so­lar pan­els in the state to get re­im­bursed for ex­cess en­ergy they gen­er­ate by restor­ing net me­ter­ing in Ne­vada. The cor­rupt three-mem­ber Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion had pre­vi­ously sup­pressed net me­ter­ing with­out pub­lic in­put in De­cem­ber 2015. Now util­ity cus­tomers with rooftop so­lar will be com­pen­sated at 95% of the re­tail elec­tric­ity rate for so­lar en­ergy they put back into the grid. The credit de­clines over­time in 7% in­cre­ments for ev­ery 80 megawatts of rooftop so­lar en­ergy de­ployed, un­til it reaches a floor rate at 75% of the re­tail rate.

The Ne­vada leg­is­la­ture ear­lier this year passed two ad­di­tional re­new­able en­ergy bills, Assem­bly Bill 206 and Sen­ate Bill 392. Assem­bly Bill 206 re­quires elec­tric­ity providers in the state ob­tain at least 40 per­cent of elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources like so­lar and wind by 2030. Sen­ate Bill 392 in­structs the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion to adopt stan­dards for the op­er­a­tion of com­mu­nity so­lar gar­dens. San­doval has so far not made a de­ci­sion on ei­ther bill.

As Trump pushes dirty en­ergy and tries to sup­press clean en­ergy, more states are stepping up to re­duce the dam­age he causes to the en­vi­ron­ment and econ­omy.

Green en­ergy em­ploys far more people and gen­er­ates mas­sive eco­nomic ben­e­fits com­pared to the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try.

CC Photo by Chris Kan­tos,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.