More Green Power in Pennsylvania Budget

According to Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen Alana McGinty, Pennsylvania will become a national leader in building and deploying advanced energy technology under Governor Edward G. Rendell’s proposed 2004-2005 budget.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – February 5, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] According to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen Alana McGinty, Pennsylvania will become a national leader in building and deploying advanced energy technology under Governor Edward G. Rendell’s proposed 2004-2005 budget. “The Governor’s bold vision will create excitement about Pennsylvania as an innovative, cutting-edge place to do business,” said McGinty. “Attracting new investment in energy technology will help to create the jobs we need while ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection with energy sources that are proven to improve air quality, preserve land, protect local watersheds, create jobs and enhance energy security.” The Governor’s budget will expand Pennsylvania Energy Harvest to provide the financial tools to encourage clean and renewable energy projects from advanced energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, coal-bed methane and waste-coal. With just US$5 million in its first year last year, Pennsylvania Energy Harvest was a wonderful success, receiving 139 applications with requests for $45 million in funding that would generate $96 million in private investment. According to McGinty, building on the leadership position of having already doubled the amount of green energy that Pennsylvania uses, the Governor has directed agencies to redouble that effort again so that fully 20 percent of the state’s energy needs are met by state-of-the-art technologies. To expand that effort across Pennsylvania and into the private sector, a new Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard will ensure that in 10 years, 10 percent of all of the energy generated in the Commonwealth will come from clean, efficient sources. Additionally, a revitalized Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority will provide financing to a wide range of energy research, development and demonstration projects to develop, promote and more efficiently use alternative energy resources indigenous to the state. With these initiatives, Pennsylvania will invest in and promote state-of- the-art coal gasification technologies that will fuel economic development and bring new hope and jobs to some especially hard hit parts of the state; tap reserves of coal gas methane and reduce the release of greenhouse gases by turning non-marketable mine gas into a usable energy source; boost the rural economy by building biodigesters on farms; and enhance the state’s reputation as the leader on the East Coast in wind energy, with wind farms already producing 129 megawatts of electricity here — enough to power almost 45,000 homes — and another 49 megawatts scheduled to come on line within the next year. “With rising imported fuel prices and recent record-high oil and natural gas prices, opportunities abound to explore new energy technologies that only a few years ago might not have been cost-competitive,” Secretary McGinty said. “Pennsylvania exports more than $20 billion a year to import energy fuels — that’s nearly as much as our entire state budget. Yet, indigenous energy development has a multiplier effect in the economy that may generate as much as 1.6 times more revenue than from imports. Keeping energy dollars in state clearly is the first step in retaining and generating more jobs in Pennsylvania.”
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