The news comes on the back of the associations announcement that it is to launch a Go Solar Georgia Campaign to highlight the economic development and job creation benefits that could be created by investing in solar energy in the state.
Many Georgia businesses are providing the global marketplace with solar energy system components, bringing investment dollars and permanent, high paying jobs into the state, says the association. Its time to capitalize on our natural strengths, and to leverage the economic impact solar energy could have on the state by bringing thousands of new, well paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment to our states economy, comments John Baumstark, Suniva chair and CEO, and Go Solar Georgia co-chair.
??According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratorys (NRELs) sun index level, Georgia is ranked 10th among states with the greatest energy potential from solar power, but 38th in the number of solar energy systems connected to the utility grid. In fact, continues the association, Georgia could generate more than 3,000 MWs of electricity from solar photovoltaic roof top systems alone, which is enough electricity to power close to 400,000 homes annually. ??
By setting a goal of generating 20 percent of our electricity from solar energy by 2025, we are not only aligning ourselves with the Governors Energy Challenge, which calls for a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2020, but we are providing State Government with an opportunity to Walk the Talk by installing solar energy systems on public buildings, explains Walter Brown, Georgia Solar chair and campaign co-chair.
??Go Solar Georgia will work to educate the public and policymakers about the important public policy changes that are needed to help Georgians put solar panels on their homes and buildings, expand existing businesses and to build large-scale solar farms, explained the association. With strong leadership from state government encouraging more public-private sector partnership while leveraging resources in our own backyard like the University Center of Excellence in Photovoltaics at Georgia Tech, it believes Georgia can become part of a nation-wide and global movement in the development and deployment of solar energy systems. ?
As a first step towards reaching the 3,000 MW goal, Go Solar Georgia is calling for 100 MWs to be installed by 2013. In addition, the campaign will focus on: ??
- Creating a state clean energy fund to facilitate job training and the installation of solar power systems in Georgia.
- ?Removing artificial regulatory barriers that limit the size of commercial solar energy systems.
- ?Enabling third-party ownership of solar energy systems benefiting rental facilities, school systems and churches
- ?Ensuring all retail electric providers offer a fair buyback rate for electricity generated by solar energy.