Monday, January 3, 2011
SC lags in all areas of solar development
States Drive Renewable Energy
14 December 2010
States continue to drive renewable energy according to the 2010 edition of the policy guide looking at net metering and interconnection procedures across the states, Freeing the Grid.
"Electricity rules and regulations can be incredibly complex and difficult to get right, particularly in the pioneering territory of renewables and self-generation. Freeing the Grid is intended to help states understand how their policies currently rank and how to improve them to achieve real renewable energy market and job growth," says Kyle Rabin, Director of the Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC).
"The tremendous progress we’ve seen over the four short years of the report’s publication leaves no doubt that states are able and willing to tackle these tough issues and advance our clean energy economy."
Freeing the Grid 2010 Highlights:
Net metering rules: In 2010, 37 states received A or B grades for their net metering policies, up from 13 states in 2007;
Interconnection procedures: In 2010, 20 states received A or B grades for good interconnection practices, a tremendous improvement over the solitary B grade awarded in 2007;
Head of the Class: Massachusetts and Utah received exceptional ‘A’ grades in both interconnection and net metering. This is the first time in the report’s history that any state has achieved ‘A’ grades in both categories;
Most Likely to Succeed: Colorado’s use of proven best practices and new policy models earned it the top score in net metering. Colorado allows many customer types and systems sizes to benefit from net metering, enabling broad participation in the state’s renewable energy economy. In 2010, the state also took pioneering steps to allow shared, community solar energy systems to receive net metering credits through Community Solar Gardens.
"I am proud that Colorado is leading the way on distributed renewable energy," says Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.
"We have worked hard to diversify our energy supplies and create jobs, while also trying to make distributed renewable energy affordable for our commercial and residential sectors. This is smart, forward-thinking policy that other states can, and should, follow."
Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar, adds: "With gridlock at the Federal level, state and local leaders have been busy expanding opportunities for Americans to invest in our new energy economy. These states are to be applauded for their leadership and vision in driving real renewable energy progress and job growth.
“In combination with policies that grow wholesale renewable generation for the utility sector, these state-level policies for customer self-generation are building robust and sustainable renewable energy markets across the country.”
Community Solar Programs
"One of the most exciting developments graded for the first time this year’s Freeing the Grid is the state-wide community solar programs that are moving forward in a number of places throughout the country. Community solar allows renters, customers with shaded roofs, and others who were formerly unable to participate solar energy to do so which supports green jobs in their local communities while simultaneously expanding markets for renewable energy," comments Joseph Wiedman, Partner at Keyes and Fox, LLP which represents IREC.
Freeing the Grid is produced annually by NNEC in partnership with Vote Solar, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the North Carolina Solar Center.