Reality Check | ecoWURD | radio
Sharon Pillar, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Solar Center joined ecoWURD on Reality Check with Charles Ellison to discuss how far behind Pennsylvania is in the race to become solar, as well as aggressive plans to make the state catch up. Regional neighbors next door to Pennsylvania are creating and implementing ambitious solar expansion plans, while the Keystone State still grapples with major political battles over whether or not to expand solar as a key energy source.
“Solar is the fastest growing energy source in the world right now, but Pennsylvania is falling way behind,” says Pillar. “Most of that is the policy situation, but much of it is also lack of awareness. Other states are jumping on the solar bandwagon and creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
“Lobbying dollars very much impact our policymaking and solar lobbying dollars are relatively small. We are in competition with the fossil fuel industry, and it doesn’t make sense when we’re sitting on this huge workforce development opportunity”
Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA) recently announced that Pennsylvania has agreed to purchase energy from 191 megawatts of in-state solar projects, which will stand as the largest procurement by any state government in the nation. The plan is to have 50 percent of Pennsylvania state-owned facilities to operate on solar energy. In addition, many Black Pennsylvania state legislators are introducing solar energy policy proposals, such as Senator Art Haywood’s legislations for a “… modest increase in Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Tier I goal – 18 percent solar by 2026.”