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Letter to editor: Expand renewable energy for future | Opinion

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Renewable energy can benefit our society in a multitude of ways. However, Pennsylvania will not be able to reap these benefits if our legislators fail to act on new renewable energy legislation.

In 2004, The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act was enacted to provide Pennsylvania with a goal of achieving 8% renewable energy (with .5% solar) by 2021. If our legislators fail to pass new legislation, renewable energy will stagnate in our state. This needs to change.

Senator Killion and Senator Laughlin have proposed a modified co-sponsorship memo calling for 18% renewable energy (with 5.5% solar) by 2025. We need our legislators to support this memo to expand renewable energy in PA.

Renewable energy can greatly benefit our state’s economy. Increasing renewable energy in PA will create tens of thousands of new jobs. The US Labor & Industry reports that solar installers and wind technicians have been the fastest-growing jobs in the US for multiple years in a row.

Renewable energy can also be key in saving Pennsylvania’s farms. From 2012-2017, more than 6,000 farms in our state have shut down. However, farmers are beginning to lease parts of their land to renewable energy developments. These projects are willing to pay rent at 3-5 times the farmer’s annual income which can assist farms in staying open.

Expanding Pennsylvania’s renewable energy through new legislation is essential in creating a sustainable future that supports our economy.

Julia Kaplan

Lafayette Hill

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