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4 US states score under-the-radar clean energy gains



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Published on May 25, 201

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by the World Resources Institute

25. May 2019 by World Resources Institute


Originally published on the World Resources Institute blog.
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Picture by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica

Government measures to promote a friendly market for renewable energy – either by eliminating unnecessary price barriers or setting statewide clean energy targets – can make all the difference to adding more renewable energy to online. While a few states such as California, Hawaii and Massachusetts have internationally recognized ambitious policies, many more are taking significant new steps to close the political gap that limits clean energy development. And this happens in states beyond the established predecessors. Here are just a few states that give gains:

Arkansas Activates Third Party Contracts for Solar

Like many of its neighbors in the southeastern United States, Arkansas has abundant untapped solar potential. Although solar generation grew more than 500% last year, the emerging industry is still only 32. nationally. This year, it is clear that this will happen significantly: In the review of the Solar Access Act in March, Arkansas became the newest state to allow third parties to fund solar energy development, opening the door to buyers to develop new projects and increasing employment for the Arkans.

The Bipartisan Solar Access Act was passed by state legislature with only a handful of divergent votes, and supported by large and small businesses, as well as local environmental organizations. One major supporter was Arkansas-based Walmart, whose mission is to operate 50% renewable energy by 2025. The company recently signed contracts for 46 solar projects in five states, and is now set to exploit the sun shining in the home state.

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Arkansas-based Walmart supported a government policy to encourage solar energy development. Photo by Walmart.

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Arkansas-based Walmart supported a policy in the state to encourage solar energy development. Photo of Walmart.

South Carolina Endesty Caps on Net Metering

The Energy Freedom Act, which is expected to be signed by South Carolina's governor, achieved strong support from both political parties, but also from tools, as well as community members and solar advocates. The bill lifts caps on the number of homes that can install solar panels on the roof. It also enables new customers to lock into network metrics, enabling customers to obtain credits on utility bills for excess electricity generated from solar installations on their property.

The policy also aims to help commercial and industrial consumers by allowing some large buyers to secure 10-year solar cell contracts with tools. Longer contracts give buyers less financial risk and reduce the frequency of permits for processes. And as the solar commodity market grows in South Carolina, it will probably drive the demand for solar installers, the fastest growing occupation in the United States

Maine Reengages on Renewables

Maine's new governor Janet Mills was chosen on a platform to put Maine back on track for a renewable future. Shortly after taking office, Mills abolished a moratorium on new land-based wind projects, saying she's eager to develop an offshore wind power industry on the Maine coast, which has the highest offshore wind potential in the US northeast.

Governor Mills has also replaced a gross web survey policy, a system that charged the transfer and distribution fee on all power generated from solar panels on the roof, even though that power did not leave the building where it was generated. The new policy uses a standard web metering policy that incentivizes customers to install solar panels on their rooftops by compensating them for unused power flowing into the grid.

A few weeks ago, Mills made the law to set targets for sourcing 80% of government energy from renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Although the bill has not yet been delivered, it has already received bipartisan support and has a republican leadership sponsor in the state's senate. Maine already gets 75% of its high-powered ponds, wind turbines and biomass, and these new guidelines can enable the state to develop a large enough wind and solar power market to export power to other states.

Nevada to supply solar capacity and jobs

The pass unanimously, across party lines on Earth's day, reminds Norway's new energy law that the state generates 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and signals that Silver State is not satisfied With its existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which had called for 25% of the state's energy portfolio, comes from renewable sources by 2025. Although the former RPS helped Nevada promote the fourth largest solar market in the United States, the new requirement means that the state Needs to develop more renewable energy sources, which the Nevada government believes could add up to 11 170 full-time jobs and $ 1.5 billion in economic activity.

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High school students in Nevada discuss the solar cell at their school. Photo by Black Rock Solar.

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High school students in Nevada discuss the solar cell at school. Photo of Black Rock Solar.

2019 and beyond: A clean energy future for the United States

These states are not alone in removing barriers and creating incentives for renewable energy development this year. Legislators in Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all among the ten ten US issuers, are currently discussing policies that can make renewable energy opportunities more competitive in their regional energy markets. By creating possible state-level environments, these policies provide opportunities for cities, tools, businesses, and individuals to drive the pure energy revolution in the United States


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Tags: Arkansas, Clean Jobs Nevada, Energy Freedom Act, Gross Online Painting Policy, Higan, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Solar Access Act, South Carolina, Walmart


About the Author

World Resources Institute is a global research organization spanning more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia and the United States. Our over 450 experts and employees work closely with leaders to make great ideas for maintaining our natural resources – the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Find out more at www.wri.org




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