The signing of solar and renewable energy legislation into law by Delaware Governor Jack Markell today, July 28, is the latest sign that states aren’t waiting for Congress to tax or limit carbon emissions or set a national renewable electricity standard. And it’s no wonder. Depsite President Obama’s vowing to keep trying to pass a ‘climate bill’, with political winds blowing in from the ‘right,’ the elections Nov. 2 likely mean it will be a long time before the Senate comes close to matching a climate bill passed by the House of Representatives in 2009.

Delaware follows Maryland in giving solar energy companies and their financial backers more resons reason to invest in solar projects within their borders.  Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 119 is the new Delaware law, authored by state Sen. Harris McDowell. Markell’s signing of that bill, and others strengthening net metering, moderning solar grants and rebates and enabling ground-mounted solar arrays on land zoned residential, was the impetus for coverage by Diane Mastrull of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  

The Inquirer article, headlined “In commitment to solar energy, Pennsylvania sees neighbors pull ahead,” cited the lack of similar progress for solar in Pennsylvania and the desire by solar companies, led by Standard Solar, to set up shop in the Keystone State if lawmakers see a bigger role for solar there.

But don’t give up on Pennsylvania just yet. As the article notes, there is push for a solar-only energy bill in Harrisburg this fall that could help Pennsylvania catch up. It could move on the solar provisions of House Bill 2405. That bill got bogged down in dozens of amendments, in part to kill it before the General Assembly’s summer recess.

If you have any doubt about how high the stakes are rising in the hunt for clean energy jobs and capital investments, watch below Gov. Markell’s remarks at the signing ceremony in New Castle, DE. You can find remarks by Delaware’s Secretary of the Dept. of Natural Resources Collin O’Mara  and state Senator Harris McDowell, who was the principal and original author of the solar legislation.