|Rep. Greg Vitali
166th Legislative District
Vitali bill would increase Pa. renewable energy requirements
HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Greg Vitali today introduced legislation which would increase the amount of electricity companies such as PECO and PPL must obtain from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Vitali said the purpose of the legislation is to help address climate change and create good, green jobs.
"Superstorm Sandy was a reminder of the consequences we face if we ignore the climate change issue," said Vitali, Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. "We will not solve this problem without increasing our use of renewable energy.”
House Bill 100 would amend the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act by requiring Pennsylvania electric companies to obtain 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2023. The AEPS now requires electric companies to purchase 8 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021. For 2013, Pennsylvania’s AEPS requires 4 percent to come from renewable energy sources.
Currently, 0.05 percent of Pennsylvania electricity must come from solar energy, and that would increase to 0.5 percent under the AEPS in place by 2021. Vitali's bill would increase that amount to 1.5 percent by 2023.
Vitali also noted that in contrast to Pennsylvania's law, New Jersey will require 17.88 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2021 and 4.1 percent from solar sources by 2028. For 2013, New Jersey requires 7.1 percent to come from renewables.
Vitali said his legislation has another benefit – it would create good, green jobs during a time when unemployment in Pennsylvania remains high.
This is the second bill Vitali has introduced this legislative session to increase the amount of renewable energy Pennsylvania uses.
House Bill 200 would provide $25 million per year for the PA Sunshine Solar Program, which helps residents and small businesses install solar systems. The program has nearly exhausted its funding, and the Corbett administration has announced the program would stop taking applications by the end of the year.
Funding would come from an impact fee on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, which the state enacted last year.
House Bill 200 was referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.