Renewable Energy Vermont and Member Businesses Call on State to Meet Interim Renewable Energy Goals

Oct 29, 2013

Renewable Energy Vermont has outlined a series of interim goals as the state moves to meet a 90 percent renewable goal by 2050.

Board members of Renewable Energy Vermont are calling on the state to meet an interim goal to electrify 20 percent of the state with renewable energy by 2020 in order to meet the broader 2050 target. According to Renewable Energy Vermont, 11 percent of the state’s energy currently comes from renewable resources. During the group’s annual conference in Burlington Tuesday, several initiatives were outlined to supply the state with 450 megawatts of renewables across the transportation, heating and cooling sectors. REV Board Chair Martha Staskus says policy and education initiatives must be jumpstarted to foster economic security and energy independence.

The initiatives include conservation, efficiency, weatherization, and greater use of renewable resources. Efficiency Vermont Director Jim Merriam says these goals are similar to what they have been working to achieve since 2000.

SunWood Systems is a biomass energy company in Waitsfield. Co-Founder David Frank uses the economics of his renewable sector to illustrate that meeting the goal is critical.

Vermont Natural Resources Council Energy Program Director Johanna Miller says the initiatives that have been outlined are essential for Vermont’s energy future.

But getting renewable systems installed may come down to affordability. Real Goods Solar Senior Consultant Tom Champlin notes cost and system payback time is a key lure for his customers.

Renewable Energy Vermont is calling for an expansion of community-scale solar and wind projects, strengthening net metering programs, establishing a carbon tax on fossil fuels and implementation of a Renewable Portfolio Standard to measure targeted goals.