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State should embrace use of solar energy

Solar energy is one of the underused energy sources in Pennsylvania.

I am proud to say that I’ve added a little more energy to the grid by placing solar panels on my roof.

However, Pennsylvania needs to do more. Pennsylvania used to be an energy leader, but we are quickly falling behind other states when it comes to the energy technologies of the future, like solar.

Our legislators have the opportunity right now to champion energy freedom and throw farmers a lifeline by supporting solar in Pennsylvania.

Only 0.5% of our electricity comes from solar. That we have any electricity from solar is thanks to our Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS).

But back in May, the AEPS plateaued, leaving us stuck at 0.5%, well behind the rest of the country unless we increase the AEPS.

Pennsylvania also remains a state without community solar, which allows anyone with an electric bill to subscribe to a share of a large, off-site solar array.

The subscriber would lower their electric bills, just like me and the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who have installed solar on their homes.

Farmers can lease some of their land to host community solar arrays, gaining a reliable revenue stream that helps keep their farms in business.

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania House (HB 1080) and Senate (SB 501) would increase our AEPS solar goal to 5.5% by 2026. And House Bill 1555 would give access to clean energy to everyone, not just some.

All of these bills are stuck currently in Harrisburg and without us, they will continue to go nowhere fast.

Please join me in helping our elected officials get this message. Sometimes they need a little help to see the light.

Devonna Sue Shoemaker

Gallitzin

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