Renewable Portfolio Standards

North Carolina is in danger of going backwards on renewable energy

(Photo via Jeff Hayes using a Creative Commons license)
North Carolina is in danger of going backwards on renewable energy

Late Wednesday night, the North Carolina House of Representatives amended House Bill 760 to weaken renewable energy requirements in North Carolina.The amendment freezes the renewable energy portfolio standard in 2015 which will restrict development of new clean energy projects in North Carolina.

This puts the development of wind projects in North Carolina is in great jeopardy.

The House will hold its final vote on the bill on Tuesday. We need for you to contact your Representatives before then to urge them to either take out the renewable energy changes in the bill or vote “NO” on HB 760.

To find your Representative, go to http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx and enter your county of residence.  You will then receive a list of your House members.  Click on each of their names to find their email addresses and phone numbers.

Here are some facts about wind energy that it is important for legislators to know:

  • North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard attracts significant economic benefits to the state. HB 760 will end that investment by freezing the amount of renewable energy in North Carolina.
  • There are wind projects in the planning stages that total over $1 billion worth of investment in North Carolina’s rural counties. This investment will create jobs, build roads and provide funding for schools. However, if HB 760 passes in its current form, that investment will go to other states.
  • Wind power’s costs have dropped by more than half in just five years due to improved technology and successful policy. By installing wind power, integrating its free fuel source into a more diverse energy mix, consumers in other states have seen billions of dollars in savings. It’s time North Carolina consumers enjoy the same benefits by growing wind power here.
  • American wind power fosters economic development in all 50 states. Wind power has a domestic manufacturing supply chain of over 500 facilities in 43 states, including 28 facilities in North Carolina. The workers at these manufacturing facilities are making wind turbine parts and supplies that now carry a made-in-the-USA label. By growing wind power in the state, we can take advantage of a home-made product that creates jobs and reduces your electric bill.
  • Please vote “NO” on HB 760 or remove Part III-B from the bill in its entirety. Jobs and investment are at stake at a time when we can least afford to lose them.
Renewable Portfolio Standards

Andrew Gohn is the Eastern Region Director on AWEA’s State Policy team. Before joining AWEA, he spent six years at the Maryland Energy Administration, advancing wind energy development in the state. He worked to develop and enact the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, as well as several major legislative and administrative efforts that supported deployment of the state’s first 180 MW of wind power. Prior to working for Maryland, Andrew interned at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and spent time developing environmental policy in the office of Sen. Ben Cardin. He received a law degree from University of Maryland in 2009 and remains a member of the Maryland bar in good standing.

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