On behalf of PennEnvironment’s citizen members, I am writing to urge you to support solar power in Pennsylvania. Last session, Representative Preston introduced legislation (HB 1128) that would achieve that goal by tripling the amount of solar required in the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). This legislation passed the house unanimously. Senator Tomlinson sponsored the same piece of legislation in the senate.
Solar power is a clean, reliable, local energy source that will be an integral part of Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy. At the same time, solar power creates more jobs per megawatt than any other traditional form of energy production. All sixty-seven counties in Pennsylvania have sufficient sunlight to benefit from solar development. In fact, Germany, which is the world leader in solar energy, has less solar capacity than Pennsylvania.
Since Pennsylvania passed its AEPS, sixteen states plus the District of Columbia have also implemented solar requirements, half of which are now larger than Pennsylvania’s. In order to make sure that the Commonwealth does not fall behind in this growing industrial sector, PennEnvironment urges legislators in Harrisburg to increase Pennsylvania’s solar share as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania and the nation must tap more of the heat and power of the sun, which has supplied Pennsylvanians with thousands of high-salaried, secure jobs and has the potential to supply thousands more. The Commonwealth’s current solar standard has helped create 6,700 jobs and made Pennsylvania a home to an estimated 282 solar businesses. From providing Pennsylvanians with cleaner air to creating thousands of jobs, solar energy has a long list of advantages. With this legislation, Pennsylvania has an opportunity to seize some of these advantages.
To fully realize our clean, renewable energy potential in Pennsylvania and across the country, we need to ensure that the Commonwealth is a leader in solar power. In light of this fact, PennEnvironment asks you to support legislation to increase the production of solar energy in Pennsylvania.
Clean Energy Associate