A law recently signed by Pat Quinn the Governor for the state of Illinois, the same state that President Barack Obama is from, is looking like the US is taking directions from China in how to promote Solar Energy.
The law says utilities must purchase a half-percent of solar power by June 2012. The mandatory percentage doubles each year, until reaching 6 percent in 2015. Although this is quite a small goal the state already has 10% of its electricity being provided by in-state wind power! Which means that the small state of Illinois with 13 million people is able to find a way to get to over 16% renewable energy integrated into their grid by 2015.
An Environmental Law and Policy Center representative says similar benchmarks for wind energy have been working for sometime now. However, for a wind-rich state like Illinois (also known as the “Windy State”) it is easier to adopt ‘forced’ benchmarks in wind than it is to adopt a solar benchmark when the weather in Illinois is quite miserable throughout the year.
The Democratic governor also signed a law requiring homeowners’ associations to inform potential residents about solar panel policies.
We will try and keep you up-to-date with all that happens here as the elections come around this weekend and Australia prepares for change regardless of who comes into office next week.
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Written by Prateek Chourdia
MEngSc – Photovoltaics and Solar Energy, UNSW
Solar Energy Analyst