At a time when the Federal government is supporting the fossil fuel industries with billions of dollars, the support for truly CLEAN energy like solar is miniscule even at the state level. In the state House Rep. Chris Ross has introduced a bill that eases the cost of installing solar systems, Google has announced a grant program, and the German solar industry is busy putting people to work in good paying jobs.
NOTE: In case you missed it, June 18 was International Solar Day.
Ross Bill HB1580. Due to a combination of factors including the successful PA Sunshine Rebate Program and the opening of the Federal 30% tax credit for solar, the solar industry in Pennsylvania matured last year! This has resulted in Pennsylvanians installing four times more solar than required to meet the portion of solar set for electrical utilities.
While this means more solar is in the ground (and on the roof) ahead of schedule, it also means that the price of a Solar Alternate Energy Credit has decreased from $300 in 2010 to $100 in 2011. Solar systems that were installed last year with the expectation of a 5-7 year payback period may now have to suffer through a 10-12 year payback period. For system owners this is not good news.
To fix this problem Representative Ross has introduced HB1580 that would increase the percentage of solar energy that utilities are required to buy during the period 2011 to 2015. Ask your Representative to co-sponsor House Bill 1580 to fix solar in PA.
Google Helps Private Homeowners. Going beyond making its own facilities green, Google has announced a program that provides $280 million to help private homeowners install solar panels. The progam will be conducted through Solar City.
Germany. Even though Germany probably sees more cloudy days and is at a higher latitude than Pennsylvania, the goal is for solar energy to supply 7 pct of Germany’s power needs by 2020. Already Germany has become the world’s leading installer of photovoltaic (PV) panels, is Europe’s biggest supplier of PV panels with an industry that has more than 100,00 employees or four times as many as the US steel industry based on country size.”