Here’s the Governor’s pitch via his Op-Ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
Let sunshine into Pa. power goals
By Edward G. Rendell
The solar-energy industry is growing rapidly and creating thousands of jobs nationwide. But Pennsylvania is falling farther behind in the race for these green jobs. When it comes to producing clean electricity from the sun, other states are leaping ahead of the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania requires that only 0.5 percent of the electricity we use will come from the sun as of 2021. By comparison, New Jersey will require that 4 percent of its electricity come from solar generation by 2021, Delaware has set a target of 3.5 percent by 2025, and Maryland’s standard is 2 percent by 2022. Even Illinois, a ranking coal producer, has a goal of 1.5 percent by 2025.
What does that mean for the Keystone State? It means we are less likely to attract a major solar-related economic-development project – or to keep the more than 600 solar businesses we already have, which offer jobs in research, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance.
If we want to keep those businesses and the jobs they support, we must create a business environment that helps them expand and attracts companies that are looking to relocate.
That’s why we must increase solar energy’s share in the state’s alternative-energy portfolio standards. Passed by the legislature in 2004, the standards jump-started a green revolution that has made Pennsylvania one of the leading states in renewable-energy development. Twenty-five thousand Pennsylvanians are working in renewable-energy jobs, while the state’s consumers and businesses have invested at least $600 million in solar-energy projects.
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