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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Report Says State's Solar Industry Needs A Little Help To Shine

Legislation currently being considered by Connecticut lawmakers would provide a real boost to the state’s solar energy industry, according to a new report released last week.

The report, prepared for the Connecticut Long Term Sustainable Solar Strategy Workgroup, says House Bill 6635 would provide a comprehensive strategy for building a sustainable solar industry in the state. The workgroup was convened by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control and includes officials from environmental organizations, utility industry, government policy officials and solar industry representatives.

The report - which was developed for the group by KEMA, a nationally known consulting firm - contends that the legislation would pave the way for a series of programs that would help the solar industry in Connecticut grow from its current levels. Among the programs need to help the industry grow in Connecticut are residential rebates, incentives for low-income households, community solar programs and utility owned solar projects.

Currently, the state has about 300 people working in the solar energy industry and has supported 24 in-state solar businesses, according to the report, which also says that 1000 solar energy systems have been installed on houses, schools and companies.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to make solar energy a significant part of our energy mix, and bring the industry to a scale where it can compete with conventional dirty generation,” said Roger Smith, campaign director for Connecticut Clean Water Action and one of the 12 members of the solar energy workgroup. “The solar strategy report makes it clear that solar for households, businesses and towns has real job and economic benefits. Now the legislature needs to make this potential a reality.”


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