IUE-CWA Local 123

Pennsylvania officials looking to increase renewable energy production

On Nov. 12 Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery/Delaware, and state Rep. Greg Vitalia, D-Delaware, unveiled a new bill that hopes to increase the state's amount of renewable energy capability. An increase to Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard will help power homes and businesses within the state.

Pennsylvania's current AEPS, which was enacted in 2004, currently requires 8 percent of the states energy output to be provided by renewable resources -hydroelectric, solar, wind and geothermal - by 2021. Sen. Leach said in a statement that the 2004 percentage was not ambitious enough and that the state needs to increase its AEPS in order to measure up to other states.

Increase amount of renewable energy
Leach went on to say that many other states are in the 20 to 30 percent area when it comes to renewable energy. The new bill is hoping to amend the previous bill and push the amount of renewable energy to 15 percent by 2023. Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WESA reported that Pennsylvania has the lowest requirement for renewable energy and pushing it to 15 percent would set the state at the third lowest in the country. Vitali said in a statement this new bill would be relatively cheap and not hurt the state.

"Increasing its AEPS is the most effective way for Pennsylvania to expand its production of renewable energy. Many other states have already increased their renewable energy standards," Vitali said in a statement. "The cost of Pennsylvania's AEPS is relatively small. The PennFuture energy center estimated that the cost of implementing the AEPS in 2011 was only 6.6 cents per month for residential consumers."

Compete with other states
ClimateProgress reported that one of the goals of the bill is to reach the same level of neighboring states. Delaware (25 percent), Maryland (20 percent) and New Jersey (20.38 percent) out rank Pennsylvania in renewable energy production. Leach said that reaching the level of other states will help it increase renewable energy and improve the economy.

"It is important that Pennsylvania keep pace with neighboring states in developing, generating and consuming renewable electricity in order to remain competitive in the emerging green economy," Leach said in a statement.

Along with renewable energy, Pennsylvania's AEPS also requires 0.5 percent of electricity to be generated by photovoltaic by 2012. The new bill is hoping to increase this solar carve-out to 1.5 percent by 2023.




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