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Published on March 2nd, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

14

Big Solar Kills Kill-Solar Bill

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March 2nd, 2010 by
 

Arizona’s solar future has been under attack from the state’s Republican majority in the sunniest state in the union with several attempts to repeal the state requirement that utilities generate more of their power from renewable sources.

Yet yesterday,  Rep. Debbie Lesko (R) quietly dropped a bill to slow the sunshine state’s 15% Renewable Energy Standard – that had 51 co-sponsors.

It was not the first attempt by Republican lawmakers in the state to kill the Renewable Energy Standard (RES). The very conservative Goldwater Institute is behind a Republican bill – HB 2381 – that forbids setting any renewable energy requirements – after the group lost a lawsuit attempting to overturn the RES itself.

And Arizona’s new Republican Governor recently unplugged a regional cap and trade plan that the state originally pioneered under it’s very progressive former governor, Janet Napolitano.

But this Republican attempt to kill clean energy in Arizona was thwarted. By a Chinese solar company.

China’s Suntech Power Holdings Company, one of the largest solar module manufacturers in the world, said the proposal would undermine Arizona’s efforts to attract new solar firms to the state, and it immediately threatened to withdraw its own planned 100,000 square foot PV plant, in particular. It would have been the first Suntech Power Holdings, Company PV plant in the USA.

Oddly enough, Lesko’s bill is quite mild in comparison with the much more dangerous Goldwater Institute-inspired legislation and the recent walkout of the regional Climate Action Plan. The new bill also seems fairly reasonable compared with Federal level Republican opposition to renewable energy policy.

State Republicans merely want to add nuclear and hydro power in the 15% renewable standard. With no water in the state, (and nuclear needs a lot of water), those don’t seem like game changers for solar chances to this reader. But Suntech’s Polly Shaw testified that the change would gut the renewable energy requirement and eliminate the reason for Suntech’s choice of Arizona for its first US PV manufacturing plant.

The RES includes a requirement that some of the renewable power come from distributed generation from homeowner’s rooftops; which is key to the proposed PV plant returning a good yield for investors.

Suntech claimed that their investors would simply abandon its project without the “concrete market certainty” of the RES pushing solar to the forefront. And the legislature blinked. Till now only dirty energy industry has dictated our energy policy through Rush, Limbaugh and Fox in addition to direct payments to congress, including over $2 million for Senator Inhofe alone. But perhaps this marks the first example of the growing power of the new clean energy industry.

Big Solar just killed a kill-solar bill!

Image: HomeMobilePower

Source: ElectricityForum

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

    Disclaimer: By their consistent voting record in opposition to it, Republicans would appear to hate renewable energy.

    That voting record doesn’t represent the views of the American voters who read renewable energy blogs because they’d like to see the USA transition to more renewable energy.

  • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

    Disclaimer: By their consistent voting record in opposition to it, Republicans would appear to hate renewable energy.

    That voting record doesn’t represent the views of the American voters who read renewable energy blogs because they’d like to see the USA transition to more renewable energy.

  • Jared

    Where is the “this blogger f’ing hates Republicans and doesn’t necessarily represent our views” disclaimer?

  • Jared

    Where is the “this blogger f’ing hates Republicans and doesn’t necessarily represent our views” disclaimer?

  • http://www.elementalled.com Elemental LED staff

    I feel more and more like I’m living in the Twilight Zone seeing the attitude of many politicians towards anything that hints at progress. Apparently some of them have even lost sight of money-making initiatives!

  • http://www.elementalled.com Elemental LED staff

    I feel more and more like I’m living in the Twilight Zone seeing the attitude of many politicians towards anything that hints at progress. Apparently some of them have even lost sight of money-making initiatives!

  • http://www.patentinsights.com GaryO

    Setting regulations is a traditional “weapon” in competition. J. Galbraith in his book “The Predator State” talks about how it has been done in the past. T.L. Friedman in his book “Hot Flat and Crowded” has an entire chapter about regulation and the role it plays. This will remain an interesting area to watch as green energy develops!

  • http://www.patentinsights.com GaryO

    Setting regulations is a traditional “weapon” in competition. J. Galbraith in his book “The Predator State” talks about how it has been done in the past. T.L. Friedman in his book “Hot Flat and Crowded” has an entire chapter about regulation and the role it plays. This will remain an interesting area to watch as green energy develops!

  • http://windmill-solarpanel-electricity-guide.blogspot.com/ Solar

    Great Article Susan.

    Its true. Solar energy has a lot of potential. The government should take some serious steps so that every person in the country uses solar energy in some way.

  • http://windmill-solarpanel-electricity-guide.blogspot.com/ Solar

    Great Article Susan.

    Its true. Solar energy has a lot of potential. The government should take some serious steps so that every person in the country uses solar energy in some way.

  • Maxwell

    Thank God for the Chinese to come and save us from Fox News.

    [SK: If only!]

  • Maxwell

    Thank God for the Chinese to come and save us from Fox News.

    [SK: If only!]

  • J

    Here we go again,

    All those wicked white wing exweemist wepublicans always out to destwoy solaw, wind and enewgy efficiency.

    Ah ! If only we had more progressive crackpots like J Neapolitano ( HEY THE SYSTEM WORKED FOR THE MZOLEM UNDERWEAR BOMBER) and the real threat to the country is not izlam or izlamic terrorists…….it’s US veterans and TEA PARTY People……and the …….dare we say the C O N S E R V A T I V E S.

    THEY’RE EVERYWHERE……oooooooooooooooooooh!

    Hey Susan…..Remember that mean old bad evil wicked wepublican pwesident that created the EPA in 1968? Oh, what was his name??????

    [SK. Yes, if only today's Republican Party was as reasonable and responsible about environmental life and death issues as Nixon was! How low it is sunk that Nixon now presents such a stark contrast]

  • J

    Here we go again,

    All those wicked white wing exweemist wepublicans always out to destwoy solaw, wind and enewgy efficiency.

    Ah ! If only we had more progressive crackpots like J Neapolitano ( HEY THE SYSTEM WORKED FOR THE MZOLEM UNDERWEAR BOMBER) and the real threat to the country is not izlam or izlamic terrorists…….it’s US veterans and TEA PARTY People……and the …….dare we say the C O N S E R V A T I V E S.

    THEY’RE EVERYWHERE……oooooooooooooooooooh!

    Hey Susan…..Remember that mean old bad evil wicked wepublican pwesident that created the EPA in 1968? Oh, what was his name??????

    [SK. Yes, if only today's Republican Party was as reasonable and responsible about environmental life and death issues as Nixon was! How low it is sunk that Nixon now presents such a stark contrast]

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