The struggle for a nation to leverage renewable energy has been a game of one step forward, and three steps back.
When Pennsylvania enacted the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) 14 years ago, the same year that the Eagles season ended in a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX with the Patriots, it seemed like a fantastic leap for the progression of the expansion of renewable energy in Pennsylvania. But, unlike the chances of the Eagles victory for this year, the AEPS does not have the same chances for success.
According to an article written by Mark Szybist on nrdc.org, this happened because the AEPS has grown very weak, and the policy needs to go under revision. He goes on to say, “Strengthening the AEPS before 2021, when its targets flat-line, would re-establish Pennsylvania as a clean energy leader. Failing to do so would effectively shut the door on thousands of clean energy jobs and increase our dependence on fossil fuels…”
According to the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credit Program (www.pennaeps.com) website, the AEPS was established to, “provide economic development opportunities by increasing the mix of alternative electricity generation of Pennsylvania. ”They propose that 18 percent of the electricity supplied by electric distribution companies (EDCs) and electric generation suppliers (EGSs).
As we look at New Jersey compared to Pennsylvania in their goals and how they are achieved, New Jersey has a stronger solar energy renewable credit market which has produced hundreds of thousands of jobs installing and maintaining renewable energy from solar projects, where PA has lagged in clean job creation.
However, this hasn’t stopped some forward-thinking organizations and groups from pursuing the idea of renewable energy. Since 2004, the Philadelphia Eagles have installed 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines in their home stadium at Lincoln Financial Field. A solid contribution, but like the Eagles’ upcoming challenge against the Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, the pursuit of increasing the utilization of renewable energy is a battle that every smart Philadelphian and Pennsylvanian wants to win.