Maryland governor shuns ‘expensive wind and solar’ in new energy proposals

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Republican governor Larry Hogan has never been a firm friend of wind and solar, citing heavy tax impositions on consumers. Source: Flickr/Fort George H. Meade Public Affairs Office

Despite a number of new renewable energy proposals, Maryland governor Larry Hogan has kept “expensive” wind and solar at arm's length. 

On Tuesday Hogan announced his environmental agenda for 2017, which featured a focus on clean energy jobs and renewable projects. What was lacking however were explicit mandates for wind and solar, as Hogan labelled such technologies as “expensive”, whilst insinuating that they were being “forced” upon consumers.

This sentiment aligns with the governor’s energy decisions in May when he vetoed the Clean Energy Jobs RPS Revisions bill that would have increased Maryland’s renewable energy target to 25% by 2020 and created thousands of jobs, particularly in solar.

Hogan’s 2017 proposals however do include almost US$65 million in clean energy investment, including a US$3 million investment in a state programme to train 1,500 workers for jobs in clean energy industries.

Further, Hogan said around US$41 million will be invested solely in renewable projects through the Strategic Energy Investment Fund as part of the deal with utility Exelon that was agreed in its state merger settlement. There is also a proposal for a Clean Cars Act 2017 which would increase investment in the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit scheme by more than 30%, whilst doubling the current charging station rebate.

A further initiative seeks to form a US$7.5 million collaboration between the University of Maryland Energy Research Centre and the state Clean Energy Centre to create the Green Energy Institute. This organisation would solely be used as a vehicle to attract private investment and commercialise clean energy innovations.

The Clean Water Commerce Act will allow US$10 million of the Bay Restoration Fund to be used to purchase nutrient reduction credits enabling the state to meet 2025 watershed goals.

“The proposals in our package are innovative, forward-thinking solutions to ensure that Maryland continues to lead the way to safeguard our environment,” Hogan said in a statement. “I look forward to working with legislators to get these common sense measures passed. We owe it to the next generation to continue to find cost-effective ways to protect Maryland’s environment and stimulate economic growth.”

Attending a press conference surrounding the new proposals, the Republican defended his decision to veto last year’s energy bill by citing a hefty tax burden as his reason for defaulting on the legislation.

“It's charging people every month on their bill to force people to buy expensive solar and wind energy,” Hogan told reporters. “We don't need this bill to pass. We've already made tremendous improvements. We're already better than most places. The things we talked about today help accomplish those goals without charging Marylanders, and I'm just opposed to the sunshine and wind tax.”

However, the legislation containing the so-called “sunshine and wind tax” could very well pass if lawmakers choose to override Hogan’s veto when they reconvene later this month for the new legislative session. 

Read Next

February 24, 2021
Microinverter supplier to use proceeds to repurchase notes due 2024 and 2025 as well as other corporate purposes
February 15, 2021
Longroad Energy to acquire ~900MWdc of solar, with battery storage additions also to be considered.
February 15, 2021
US utility Duke Energy should refile its 2020 integrated resource plan (IRP) to effectively allow for the diversity benefits of solar and storage to be captured, it has been argued by energy consulting firm E3.
February 11, 2021
Oil and gas major Shell has said it will spend between US$2 billion and US$3 billion on renewables and energy solutions annually to help it attain net zero status by 2050.
February 10, 2021
Australian investment group Macquarie has exceeded its latest wind and solar project fundraising target by €600 million (US$727.44 million).
Premium
February 8, 2021
Europe’s solar financing market is evolving at rapid speed, driven by changing dynamics and aided by technological advancements at the asset level. Here PV Tech re-caps the five most significant takeaways from the conference’s opening days.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021