Coach Dave’s Playbook
It’s a new year, and we’re already off and running with advances and updates in the world of clean energy…so let’s dive right in.
DC’s Clean Energy Bill Is Now Law
On January 18, D.C,’s Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 into law. It requires 100% of DC’s electricity to come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2032—13 years earlier than California and Hawaii have committed to transition to 100% green electricity. For more details, check out this helpful write-up from Greater Greater Washington. This bill recognizes that action on climate is not complete if the benefits are not shared equitably among our residents, and that we need a more sustainable future for the next generation of D.C. to thrive.
Update from the Garden State: Low-Income Community Solar Takes Root in New Jersey
In January 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved rules for a new community solar pilot program, which clears the way for at least 225 megawatts (MW) of community solar to be built in the state over the next three years (enough to power approximately 25,000 homes). The program is also expected to create local clean energy jobs and help the state meet its ambitious renewable energy goals.
Within the community solar pilot program, 40% of all solar capacity is earmarked for low- and moderate-income consumers.
A 2018 study from GTM Research found that community solar has the potential to deliver energy savings for more than 400,000 customers in New Jersey, including a quarter million low-to-moderate income and affordable housing customers, by 2030. The state had more than 100,000 total solar panel installations by the end of 2018, but encouraging broader access to solar power is key to Governor Murphy's stated goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.
New York Launches “Solar For All” Program
In early December 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced contract awards for nine community solar projects throughout New York, as part of its “Solar For All” program. These first nine projects, which are intended to provide community solar access for up to 7,000 eligible low-income residents, will be followed by additional round of funding in 2019, which will then expand the number of households to 10,000, as well as increase the areas served by the program.
This recent boost to low income solar in New York state is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun program, a 10-year, $1 billion component of Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), which aims to create a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. More info here: www.nyserda.ny.gov/solarforall.
Things Are Looking Up For Solar Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing occupation in the US is solar PV installer, with a projected growth rate of 105% between 2016 and 2026. The #2 fastest-growing job? Wind turbine service technician. Yep, both jobs are in the booming renewable energy industry.
Bonus Reading: Equitable and Inclusive Urban Planning