Vermont’s Solar Future
As Vermonters, we take pride in our reputation as environmental leaders. That includes the state’s ambitious vision for our clean energy future. After many months of work and a tremendous amount of public input, in 2011 the state adopted a plan calling for 90% of our energy needs (electricity, heating and transportation) to be met with renewable resources by 2050. A significant portion of that renewable energy future will be met with solar energy. Vermont has a strong solar resource (significantly better than Germany, the world leader in solar, for instance) which allows us to take advantage of all sizes of solar systems, from residential rooftops, to large scale ground mounted projects.
Over the past decade, solar costs have dropped dramatically as the manufacturing and installation process has become significantly more efficient and technology continues to improve. As costs decrease, more and more Vermonters have made the choice to go solar themselves or take part in a larger community solar system. In fact, over 7000 solar systems have been installed through the state’s net metering program. This has created jobs and boosted Vermont’s economy – a clean energy success story! Today we are looking towards increasing amounts of solar paving the way towards a renewable energy grid of the future.
Recent Solar Energy News
On May 22nd, Gov. Scott signed H.676, which establishes a voluntary standard for establishing a pollinator-friendly habitat label on solar farms and recognizing solar installers that are leading the way in protecting and promoting pollinator species. Just like our work to make it easier to build solar on previously developed land such as rooftops, parking ...Read More
The 2017-2018 legislative session began this week with the swearing in of recently elected candidates and the election of legislative leaders, including a new Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, and many other key positions in the legislature. Late this morning, VPIRG delivered a petition to every legislator in the house and senate, as well ...Read More
Last month, in response to all of the questions, comments, and conversations we were having about wind power, we released a Wind FAQ page on our website. We’ve since been receiving a lot of positive feedback about the page and many of our members have found the information both helpful and clarifying. After the success of ...Read More
VPIRG delivered a petition signed by 1412 Vermonters to the Public Service Board on Monday in support of keeping Vermont’s net metering program strong. The petition asked the Board to address the concerns as raised by VPIRG, VNRC, Vermont Conservation Voters and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility in their July 15th comments regarding the Board’s proposed ...Read More
Environmental, climate, and sustainable business groups joined together this week to express grave concern over proposed changes to net metering, the program that allows Vermonters to choose renewable energy. The diverse organizations are urging the Public Service Board to reconsider its proposed rule as it undermines the State’s commitment to help Vermonter’s increase their self-reliance ...Read More
Late last night the legislature passed a fixed version of the energy siting bill (S.230) previously vetoed by Gov. Peter Shumlin. The new bill (S.260) made four simple clarifications necessary to address the governor’s concerns. VPIRG supports this bill. It will empower towns and regions to take a greater role, and get a greater say, in ...Read More
VPIRG supports Gov. Shumlin’s veto of the energy siting bill (S.230) and we strongly encourage legislators to fix the bill and send it back to the governor this week. We favor the bill that legislators thought they were voting for when they passed it overwhelmingly on the last night of the session. VPIRG wants to see ...Read More
Friday evening, after a flurry of back and forth negotiations between the House and the Senate – S.230, the energy siting bill, finally passed and is heading to the governor’s desk. The result is a bill that will do a lot to empower towns to take on a greater role in Vermont’s clean energy transition while ...Read More