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Maryland speeds up solar energy targets for utilities

Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland yesterday signed a bill requiring utilities to source two percent of their electricity from solar power by 2020.

The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard for Solar Energy and Solar Water Heating Systems bill (Senate Bill 791 and House Bill 1187) and updates of an original that had set the same target to be reached by 2022.

The standard also applies to solar water heating. According to the Governor’s office, the bill will create 10,000 new jobs by 2018, adding to the 2,000 solar jobs already in place in Maryland.

“This is an important victory for Maryland’s quickly emerging solar energy market,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The state’s RPS policy has worked. We’ve seen a dramatic decline in the cost of solar energy, rapid job growth and tens of millions of dollars in economic expansion. But a potential market distortion would dramatically constrain growth of solar in Maryland.”

“With passage of this bill, the state’s solar market will grow in an economically sustainable way that protects consumers while continuing to create jobs and new investment.”

The WaterShed, UMD’s winning entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon. Photo Credit: Solar Tribune


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