Legislators at the N.C. General Assembly will discuss a bill today that opponents say could derail the state’s renewable energy industry.
House Bill 298, currently in a commerce and job development subcommittee, would lift a requirement on the types of energy public electric utilities use.
Current law, enacted in 2007, requires utilities to derive 12.5 percent of their retail sales from renewable energy sources by 2021.
N.C. RENEWABLE ENERGY
House Bill 298 would alter the state’s renewable energy mandate for utilities and affect the growing solar industry:
- A 2007 law requires public electric utilities to derive 6 percent of next year’s retail sales from renewable sources by 2015.
- By 2021, 12.5 percent of retail sales must be derived from renewable sources.
- Bill 298 would cut the mandate.
“North Carolina has the most efficient policies in the Southeast to promote renewable energy,” said Michael Shore, CEO of the Asheville-based solar energy company FLS Energy. “It has been widely successful in growing this industry from scratch.”
According to a Solar Market Insight report released last month, the average retail price of electricity in the U.S. increased by 35 percent from 2001 to 2012.