Maryland has much to celebrate on its achievements in the realm of solar power. Like all states rich in natural resources, Maryland has stood out in their relentless championing for alternative energy to bring sustainability to the next level, and in doing so, has seen significant growth in solar energy output in the last 10 years, due to easier access for homeowners and businesses.
In 2016, Maryland had a total of 5,429 solar energy jobs, a 27% increase from the previous year in view of rising demand for solar power amid affordable costs. With 76,000 homes powered by solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Maryland’s solar growth can be attributed to bold incentives that make going solar cheaper to help improve the quality of life, stimulate the economy, and save money.
Let’s zoom in on Maryland’s bright future.
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
Earlier this year, Maryland increased its renewable portfolio standard which sets 25% of all electricity generation to come from clean energy sources by 2020 (replacing an earlier target of 20% by 2022). In addition to its environmental enforcement, this standard also has consumer benefits in that it requires electricity suppliers to source a prescribed amount of their supply from renewable resources, including the wind and solar, which spurs savings to consumers by keeping electricity and natural gas prices low.
Deduct 30% of the cost of your solar panel installation placed in service by December 31, 2019. This applies to both residential and commercial systems. Time is of the essence in taking advantage of the tax credit, before it begins to gradually decline to 10% in 2022.
Net metering & SRECs
Each carries different functions, but both have positive financial returns. Net metering serves to balance out your utility bills — you build credit when your system produces excess power. SRECs are “certificates” you can sell on an open market to your utility so that they can meet state requirements. Currently, Maryland’s SREC market remains oversupplied resulting in low prices; however, the expanded RPS may drive the demand for SRECs back up.
A healthy way to generate power
The harrowing effects of air pollution mostly caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas to produce electricity are extremely serious. Reducing the pollution levels in the environment could save millions of lives from life-threatening illnesses like cancer and respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis, in addition to alleviating an overburdened health care system. More green jobs reduce occupational exposure to toxic chemicals related to mining and drilling.
A report issued by the US (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reveals that solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the country by 2050.
Maryland’s continued advocacy for solar development and its progression to date delivers hope for the future. The best way to join the solar revolution is to put solar on your roof. If you’d like to learn more about switching to solar, please get in touch.