POSITION STATEMENT: 2012 Solar Jobs Bill

Statement: New York Interfaith Power and Light strongly supports the New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2012.  The bill will position New York as a renewable energy leader by establishing a sustainable market for solar energy development.  Increasing New York’s reliance on solar energy will provide a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices, reduce peak demand, improve the quality of the air we breathe, and drive economic development across the state.

The legislation draws from and improves upon successful models in other states, and supports a broad diversity of business models, customer types and technologies in order to ensure market growth in all market sectors.  The bill creates the long-term certainty necessary for solar investment, while continuously driving lower-cost installations.  And since solar creates more jobs per MW than any other power source (on a capacity basis), it’s an excellent driver of local economic development.  Over the course of the program, the proposed policy will create jobs across a wide spectrum of professions, ranging from business managers and salespeople to engineers, installers and electricians.  With an established local market, New York will have the opportunity build a manufacturing base, and play a leadership role in this important energy resource of the future.

Solar is well matched to New York’s power needs, as its highest production comes in the summer when the state needs power the most.  This correlation to system peak means that an investment in solar reduces the need for the most expensive, and often most polluting, electricity generation supply.  In addition, solar energy’s modularity means that it can be sited within congested distribution networks, saving on electric line network upgrades and reducing the need for new transmission.

Jumpstarting the solar industry in New York will have a gross impact of less than 1 percent to total statewide spending on electricity—and that’s not counting the benefits of transitioning from volatile, polluting fossil fuels to fuel-free renewable resources.  It’s a small price to pay to start saving with the sun.

This bill will create new jobs, increase energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and improve electricity system reliability.  It’s what New York needs, and we strongly urge its immediate passage.

NYIPL: New York Interfaith Power & Light is a faith-based non-profit organization that serves the state of New York.  Our mission is to support congregations of all faiths in their actions to curb global warming and protect the sacredness of the earth. We currently have 80 member congregations, and regularly communicate with 2000 people via our email list.

We are part of a national network of congregations of all faiths concerned about the effects of global warming and power plant pollution.

Contact: Janna Stieg Watkins, NYIPL Executive Director (315) 256-0078

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