Members of Vermont's renewable energy industry are advocating for more incentives and favorable policy in the state, reports Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), the state trade association that represents more than 300 renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses in the state.
The industry, which ranges from local fabricators that assemble electrical boards and contractors that specialize in wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass heating installations to regional and international manufacturers of renewable energy technologies, encouraged state lawmakers to pursue three policies being considered by the state legislature:
- Expanding Vermont's Standard Offer program, which provides predictability to local, distributed renewable energy generation, to beyond its initial 50 MW – a measure that the industry says would yield new jobs, produce local clean energy and bring private financing support to the local industry;
- Funding Vermont's Clean Energy Development Fund, which is expected to run out of money by mid-year; and
- Ensuring the quick passage of technical corrections to Vermont's net-metering program.
The industry representatives also emphasized the diversity of Vermont's renewable energy industry. Companies like Demag Cranes, J.A. Morrissey Inc., Engineers Construction Inc., Grennon's Solder Works, Image-Tek, Northeast Prevision, Rennline and S.D. Ireland Concrete are among the many hundreds of businesses engaged in work and creating or sustaining jobs as a result of a strong local renewable energy economy.
‘The benefits of a strong renewable industry flow throughout the state by creating local jobs, producing energy locally and providing energy security,’ says Gabrielle Stebbins, executive director of REV. ‘Growing our own renewable energy in-state is in keeping with Vermonters' desire for self-reliance, a clean energy future that leaves a better legacy for our children, and keeping our dollars local.’