PA Energy Development Authority Issues Energy Plan Setting Financial, Technical Priorities
On November 16, the PA Energy Development Authority invites comments on an updated Energy Development Plan which sets energy policy goals and allocations for financial and technical assistance to achieve the Authority’s mission. (formal notice)
The Authority was established in 1982 and published previous Energy Development Plans in 1984, 2008 and 2014.
The mission of the Authority is to provide financial and technical assistance to energy projects that will expand the market for the Commonwealth's clean and diverse energy portfolio while mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving public health and protecting the environment, and strengthening economic development.
Energy Assessment Reports Updated
The draft Plan says, “Looking forward, the 2019 Energy Assessment Report for Pennsylvania indicates that between energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy production, Pennsylvania has the potential to economically reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2025 (DEP 2019, pg 20).
“Renewable energy has the economic potential to increase almost 12-fold by 2050 from 2015 levels, equal to 40% of PA’s electricity generation and 77% of in-state electricity consumption (DEP 2019, pg 94).
“Energy efficiency could reduce consumption of electricity, natural gas, and motor gasoline 15% by 2050 (DEP 2019, pg 71).
“Additional strain on the economic viability of Pennsylvania coal plants may continue to occur as a corollary to the strength and growth in the gas sector, along with anticipated continued cost declines and growth in the renewable energy sector.
“The future of energy generation in Pennsylvania is likely to involve the continued deployment of low and ultimately zero-carbon energy generation while least cost energy conservation and efficiency measures continue to be deployed.”
“Given the tremendous clean energy market potential in Pennsylvania, such as the estimated $7 billion to $9 billion in economically viable distributed clean energy projects, more efforts to match energy projects and financing would be extremely beneficial for the Commonwealth (PA Chapter, The Nature Conservancy 2017-- PA Clean Energy Market Report, PA Energy Investment Partnership).
“As a greater portion of clean energy projects are implemented, benefits to Pennsylvania’s economy will include good-paying jobs and economic development in the clean energy generation, energy efficiency, storage, and microgrid fields.
“At present, however, there is currently very little consumer or private investment participation in these areas. For example, in 2017 DEP conducted a study to identify gaps in energy efficiency financing (DEP 2017).
“The study looked for gaps in access to capital, availability of products, and product delivery. The results found that overall, Pennsylvania’s financing market enjoys an ample supply of capital with generally well- designed finance products—but nonetheless suffers from a significant delivery gap in between available capital and projects.
“It is increasingly evident that an initiative to connect capital and energy projects in Pennsylvania is in demand and would provide significant value to the Commonwealth.”
The Plan recommends the same three policy objectives for investments as the 2014 Plan--
-- PEDA will promote the development of energy resources indigenous to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has an abundance of natural resources within its borders, including an abundance of natural gas; waste coal found in the western and northeastern portions of the state; renewable resources such as hydro, wind and solar, as well as biomass and biogas resources associated with municipal and agricultural operations. Continuing to increase the use of these resources will lessen Pennsylvania’s reliance on foreign sources of energy.
-- PEDA will promote the diversification of energy generation by supporting a broad cross-section of clean energy technologies.
-- PEDA will encourage the deployment of distributed generation projects for critical public infrastructure around the state.
The criteria for evaluating proposed programs, projects and research proposals are substantially the same as the 2014 Plan.
Click Here to view a DEP produced a new online story map showing PEDA projects and investments over the years.
The deadline for comments is December 20. Comments can be submitted through DEP’s eComment webpage, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted by mail to the Policy Office, Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.
(Photo: Solar energy installation at Elizabethtown College, Lancaster County funded in part by the PEDA.)
[Posted: November 15, 2019]
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