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Solar Alliance Propose 6 Elements to Creating TX Solar Market, Jobs


by: Matt Glazer

Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 04:15 PM CDT


According to the Alliance for a Clean Texas and its partner groups, today was solar day.  

As if to put an exclamation point on the notion, the Solar Alliance today released the names of more than 30 companies that have signed a letter to the Texas Legislature urging approval of solar legislation capable of creating tens of thousands of new Texas jobs.  The list includes high-tech, telecom, manufacturing and retail companies.

"We believe it is important to demonstrate broad support for solar among Texas employers and clearly articulate what legislative criteria will be necessary to truly spark the solar industry's economic potential in Texas," said Carrie Cullen Hitt, President of the Solar Alliance.  

"With more than 80 solar and renewable energy bills before the Texas Legislature, it is important that Legislators know what they must do to make sure Texas gains a strong solar market with thousands of new jobs and economic activity," said Jeff Clark, Executive Director of TechAmerica, a national organization of high-tech employers with dozens of Texas members.

With over 60 bills in the House and over 30 in the Senate all pertaining to  green energy initiatives, the Solar Alliance has targeted 6 major criterion needed in in any solar package in order to trigger the kind of job growth a widespread solar industry can create.

  1. 3,000 total megawatts of installed solar over a 5- to 10-year program;
  2. At least 1,000 of these megawatts dedicated to distributed generation;
  3. Statewide application, with every region, every electric provider, and every customer class included, because if everyone benefits, everyone should participate;
  4. Rate impact for residential consumers of less than $1.00 per month;
  5. Provide an average of $250 million annually in incentives for the life of the program;
  6. Program expires when the goal is reached.

This is an interesting tactic.  Instead of advocating for a package of bills, the Solar Alliance has focused on specific policy positions.

They elaborate this position by stating the general number of jobs that could be created under these 6 tenets.

If these criteria are met, a strong Texas solar market could create 45,000 to 90,000 manufacturing, design and installation jobs, as well as 200,000 indirect jobs, such as in the shipping industry, according to Solar Alliance calculations based on studies utilized by U.S. solar companies to plan their business strategies.

You can read the full letter and see the list of business in the Solar Alliance here (pdf).

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