Pennsylvania State Capitol
Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania used to be a leader in bringing renewable energy to the state’s power grid, but lawmakers said Wednesday the commonwealth is “lagging behind” its neighbors now.

A bipartisan effort to increase renewable energy use in Pennsylvania to 30 percent by 2030 introduced this week won’t set any new precedents for clean energy, but members in both chambers of the state legislature said it will help keep pace.

Senate Bill 600 would expand the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 and push for solar power to make up 10 percent of all renewable energy used in the state over the next decade.

Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-10, of Lower Makefield, said the bill would mean “thousands of good paying, 21st century jobs” in Pennsylvania and was a needed step toward offsetting the effects of global climate change.

“These standards don’t just measure progress when it comes to clean energy, family sustaining jobs, and environmental stewardship,” Santarsiero said.

“They tell our children and grandchildren that we care about their future,” he added.

The current energy portfolio act requires at least 8 percent of power sold to retail customers must come from renewable energies by 2021, with solar making up about 0.5 percent of that clean energy share, according to information included in Santarsiero’s bill memo.

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This article was originally written by Chris Ullery and published on

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