Friday, January 17, 2014 News

This Week's news, January 16th 2014

by Andy Hollis

Hey South Carolina, it’s time to get serious about solar. That’s a primary theme running through a new report on solar energy by the state’s Energy Advisory Council (EAC).  As the country and neighboring states have forged ahead on deploying significant amounts of solar while enabling homeowners, businesses, schools, and churches to take advantage of this clean energy technology, South Carolina has been at a virtual standstill.

That’s expected to change in 2014. Solar leasing legislation (S.536/H.3425) in the senate and house has enjoyed broad bipartisan support but drawn the ire of our state’s utilities, and alternative legislation on solar could result from the recent EAC report. One thing is certain: elected officials will have to act if solar is to succeed in South Carolina.

As noted in the EAC report, “How state policymakers structure the legal, regulatory, and economic environment will be critical in setting the stage for successful development and promotion of distributed generation in South Carolina.”

So, take a moment and let your representative and senator know that you expect solar legislation to pass in 2014.

Click Here to find your elected officials

Click Here to get the EAC report on solar

How does South Carolina compare to neighboring states when it comes to solar? Do utilities have to build back up generation when their customers invest in solar? How can we rely on solar when the sun isn’t always shining?

Click Here for the myths and facts related to solar in South Carolina

Much of the discussion surrounding solar energy is focused on the economics. Utility customers are looking for ways to reduce their electricity bills and solar has become a popular solution. But there’s also an overarching environmental component to the clean energy debate that can be witnessed first hand along the South Carolina coast: climate change.

The Lowcountry is ground zero for many of the changes we are experiencing today and many of the challenges we can expect in the decades ahead. A recent article from a leading online resource for climate research and reporting has outlined how Charleston and South Carolina are already feeling the effects of a changing climate and what we are (or aren’t) doing to prepare for a very different future.

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