Coastal Louisiana is the area most at risk from the climate changes caused by global warming. Among the challenges our area will face are stronger storms and rising sea levels. To preserve our culture and economy, the Alliance for Affordable Energy is working to develop policy solutions that will decrease global warming pollution. Through coalitions, we successfully fought off a dirty coal plant that would have cost ratepayers $1.7 billion and released millions of tons of pollution. By demanding clean energy, we can prevent the worst impacts of global warming and secure our future.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
The Alliance is working to ensure that Louisiana families benefit from clean sources of energy. No one wants to live next to a dirty power plant. A renewable portfolio standard is the way to bolster local investment in clean energy production and give Louisiana citizens cleaner energy choices. The Alliance succeeded at the LPSC with the approval of the Renewable Energy Pilot Program in 2010. This program directed Louisiana’s utility companies to pursue 350 megawatts of new renewable energy generation by 2014 (2% of the total supply for our state). The pilot is intended as part of an ongoing effort to require utilities to generate an increasing percentage of their energy from renewable resources through a policy known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The Alliance has been monitoring the implementation of this policy and will continue to keep an eye on its success through the end of February next year. Once the Pilot is complete, the Alliance will be working with the Commission to institute a final Renewable Portfolio Standard for Louisiana that will guarantee investment in local, clean energy production.
Distributed Generation – A Paradigm Shift
Thomas Edison is the father of our current energy production systems: monopoly energy companies with large centralized power plants owning lines that connect to every home and business in their jurisdiction. At the turn of the last century energy was produced by burning coal and it was a very dirty process. These plants had to be located away from population centers. In the 21 st century, we have better choices. The Alliance is working to open up the market and “decentralize” power production. This policy is called “distributed generation”. In Louisiana, a homeowner can become their own power plant by investing in rooftop solar panels or windmills for 80% off the cost. Louisiana will give a 50% tax credit, which can be combined with a 30% federal credit for a renewable energy system. The utilities do not like distributed generation; they want consumers to purchase energy, not make it themselves. Net metering is the law that allows customers to tie their renewable energy system to the grid and the utilities are attacking this law. The Alliance is working tirelessly to protect our net-metering laws and ensure that Louisiana citizens continue to have the right to invest in energy independence, lower their bills, and decrease their carbon footprint.
The Alliance hosts monthly Solar Roundtable to provide a vital cooperative forum for solar companies and advocates addressing the most pressing industry challenges. Capitalizing on growing cohesion among solar companies and in response to an array of policy issues and opportunities, members of the Solar Roundtable have formed a new 501(c)6 organization called the Gulf States Renewable Energy Industry Association. To support our ongoing work with the solar community, in 2010 the Alliance launched a sponsorship program for the Solar Roundtable.
Voices of Solar
Louisiana’s solar community is made up of people from across the state and of every walk of life. Our individual stories showcase the many ways solar is improving lives and moving Louisiana forward. You too can join the “Voices of Louisiana Solar” project.