Last month when the U.S. had officially surpassed 100 GWdc solar capacity, Texas had absolutely stolen the show. Texas led all states with record new solar capacity in just Q1 2021, more than it added in all of 2019. Also, there are some other states who have made their debut on the top 10.
Speaking of the top 10 states; Oregon came in 7th position as compared to its 20th position in 2020. Simply put, Oregon has also played its own role in making the 100GWdc dream come true. How did Oregon step up and kept progressing on clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction?
100% Clean Energy
Recently, the state legislature passed a 100% clean energy bill in the house. The newly passed bill would require state utility companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions completely, for electricity sold in Oregon by 2040. It is one of the most aggressive timelines to transition to clean energy anywhere in the United States.
Environmental activists called this enactment a huge victory, especially when the whole country is witnessing the worsening effects of climate change. When signed into law, Oregon will become the 8th state in the United States with a legislative commitment to 100% clean or renewable electricity.
The bill was passed in the house by a vote of 16-12. Democrats alone supported the first major climate bill to pass the Legislature since 2016. Whereas, opponents of the bill said that it would increase energy prices for the consumers in the state.
Solar + Storage Rebates
In 2019, The Oregon Department of Energy announced a solar and energy storage rebate program serving Oregonians across the state. It started with just $2 million for rebates and program administration. The aim was to offer rebates to residential customers and low-income service providers that install solar or solar and paired energy storage systems (batteries).
This time the Oregon Senate, before closing their legislative session, allotted $10 million i.e. 5X amount compared to the amount originally awarded at the time of launching the program. These rebates are processed on a first come, first-served basis. The program has a special focus on expanding access to renewable energy to Oregonians who may not otherwise be able to afford the investment in solar.
It is amply clear that these rebate programs and tax credits have played a major role in creating the interest of the general public in renewables. On the other hand, the government has also understood that the clean energy transition has to happen with the urgency that the climate crisis demands. Also investing in climate change means investing in our future.
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