On renewable energy legislation, we need to think bigger

For Immediate Release

Boston – The Legislature's energy committee approved bills related to solar and other renewable energy technologies today.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

"We commend Chairman Barrett, Chairman Golden, and members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy on advancing legislation to expand renewable energy.

"But the proposed legislation falls far short of tapping into our full potential for clean energy. We could power Massachusetts many times over with pollution-free energy from the sun and wind. Instead, these bills would allow arbitrary limits on solar energy to remain in place, and increase the deployment of renewable energy at a rate far slower than what Massachusetts is capable of.

"Every day we continue to rely on dirty energy from fossil fuels is another day when we expose our children to unhealthy air pollution and risk catastrophic climate change. We urge legislators to expand on these proposed bills and accelerate our transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy."

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy advanced several pieces of legislation related to clean energy today, including:

  • H.1747, which would increase the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 1.2% in 2019, gradually ramping up to 2% by 2023. Environmental and clean energy groups are asking for an increase of 3% or more per year, to achieve 50% renewable electricity by 2030.
  • H.2712, which would increase the caps on solar net metering by two percentage points. Advocates are seeking to eliminate the caps altogether and increase access to solar energy for low-income communities.

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Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.