Washington, D.C. – January 26, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Following the landmark ruling today on America’s clean energy future by the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor filed a bipartisan jobs and energy bill to spur investment and research in widespread distributed energy technology, such as rooftop solar. Often the cheapest, most reliable and efficient energy source, distributed energy creates electricity at or near the customer, as opposed to centralized generation at large power plants that often requires electricity to be transmitted long distances to consumers. Combined with incentives to reduce demand for electricity that were affirmed today by the U.S. Supreme Court, America must chart a modern course for powering our communities that includes localized sources.
“Energy efficiency and renewable sources are at the heart of our clean energy future. We can create jobs by unleashing American ingenuity to cut carbon pollution, and generate local energy and savings. American businesses should help produce and sell the energy of the future,” said U.S. Rep. Castor, who today filed the Clean Distributed Energy Grid Integration Act with U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY).
U.S. Rep. Castor intends to urge communities across the country to take concrete steps to tackle climate change and build on the momentum after a nearly 200-country coalition led by President Obama late last year agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The benefits of clean energy, such as solar, wind, energy storage, combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells and waste heat to power (WHP), are numerous and include energy savings, improved environmental quality, avoided costly upgrades to transmission and distribution infrastructure and grid reliability in the event of electricity outages or emergencies. While large power stations are costly to build and often difficult to site in densely populated areas, distributed energy can be rolled out quickly at a fraction of the cost, providing targeted, localized relief to the grid.
“Clean energy will create 1 million new jobs in America by 2030 and 2 million by 2050,” U.S. Rep. Castor added, citing estimates from a new analysis by ICF International that outlines the tremendous job growth if the United States races towards a clean energy future by producing 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050. “In Florida, 109,000 new jobs tied to clean energy construction and manufacturing will be created by 2030 and 206,000 jobs by 2050.”
U.S. Rep. Castor’s bill focuses on identifying and researching technical and regulatory hurdles that inhibit expanded use of clean energy resources; creating a national strategy through a panel of experts to develop, implement, site and integrate distributed energy technology; and creating a competitive grant program for public and private companies that demonstrate how to achieve successful integration of distributed energy technology. U.S. Rep. Castor also supported extending the Solar Investment Tax Credit for five years (2017-2021), which passed as part of the year-end omnibus appropriations bill. This tax credit is estimated to create 61,000 jobs in 2017 alone and benefit at least a dozen solar companies in Tampa Bay.
“NOAA and NASA scientists have determined that 2015 was the hottest year on record, and the very beaches that millions of Floridians enjoy and our vibrant tourism industry are at stake. We must act now so our children and grandchildren do not suffer the consequences or costs of extreme temperatures and weather events.”
With prices for solar energy technology dropping 70 percent since 2009 and energy efficiency as the lowest cost source of energy, U.S. Rep. Castor intends to educate consumers and highlight clean energy jobs when she hosts a forum later this year. The forum will invite local business, consumer and nonprofit leaders to share the latest in clean energy technology and jobs.