Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Response Mixed to Bill Speeding up Solar Usage

Pennsylvania State Representative Chris Ross says the state has done to good of a job in encouraging the production of solar power. The Republican from Chester County says now there is too much of the renewable energy being produced in the state and not enough buyers. To remedy that Ross has introduced a series of bills that would force electric companies to buy more solar energy from Pennsylvania sources.

“It was probably an over complication to use two forms of stimulus at the same time. We disrupted the market place, now it’s time for us to stabilize that market place,” says Ross. In 2004 the state set the consumption mandates and in 2008 the state offered $80 million in funding for solar energy production projects.

Ross’s bill would speed up incremental steps included in the mandate that electric companies get .5% of their energy from solar by 2021. The bill also forces the electric companies to buy from Pennsylvania sources rather than out of state sources. “I see it as a correction for a distortion that unfortunately we ourselves created,” says Ross.

PennFuture President Jan Jarrett praises the bill. She says she hopes business will soon be able to sell their credits for a price that will encourage more solar production. The price of those credits dropped as supply outstripped demand.

Penn Power spokesperson Scott Surgeoner says he is in favor of using electricity produced from renewable sources but he says he wants to make sure it is done n a way that does not negatively impact the rates paid by Pennsylvania customers.

Ross’s solar jobs bill has 70 cosponsors.