Governor Ehrlich Boosts Renewable Energy Initiatives

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., outlined his plans to increase Maryland’s access to renewable energy sources, especially the use of biofuels and biomass such as animal manure and underutilized wood resources, and will provide incentives for the use of renewable electricity, including solar and wind resources.

“The development of renewable energy resources is vital to ensuring our national security, furthering economic development within the state, keeping our air and water clean, and increasing the viability of our farms,” said Governor Ehrlich in a visit to BP Solar North America’s headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, earlier this week. Governor Ehrlich emphasized his commitment to implement the Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2006, the Renewable Fuels Promotion Act of 2005 and the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that a specified percentage of the electricity sold in Maryland be produced by renewable resources. The Governor also endorsed the 25x’25 renewable energy initiative, a national plan that calls for 25 percent of our energy to be derived from domestic, renewable resources by 2025. In addition, Governor Ehrlich said his Administration would give priority to energy purchase contracts for providers that generate power and/or fuels using renewable sources from within the State of Maryland. State agencies will give preference to specific attributes of renewable energy purchases, including in-state generation, lowest emissions, use of under-utilized resources and decreased dependence on foreign fuel sources. Once again, Governor Ehrlich asked the Maryland General Assembly to approve his plan to require the State to purchase 10 percent of its electricity from Tier I renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. The plan, which would make Maryland the second largest state consumer of renewable energy in the nation, was not approved in the 2006 legislative session by the Maryland General Assembly. In accordance with this plan, Governor Ehrlich directed the Maryland Energy Administration and six sister agencies in its energy working group, to provide recommendations to catalyze economic growth in these new sectors, sustain existing markets, and ease the impact of energy production and use on the environment — specifically the Chesapeake Bay. The working group includes the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Department of the Environment (MDE), Department of Agriculture (MDA), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of General Services (DGS), and the Maryland Environmental Service (MES).
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