Wednesday, October 19, 2016

PA Could Be Carbon-Free by 2050

Andrea Sears, Public News Service 

Switching to 100 percent renewable source would save $9 billion in energy and fuel costs in Pennsylvania in 2050 alone. (USDA/Wikimedia Commons)
Switching to 100 percent renewable source would save $9 billion in energy and fuel costs in Pennsylvania in 2050 alone. (USDA/Wikimedia Commons)
BRISTOL, Pa. - The Keystone State could get all its power from renewable energy sources and generate thousands of jobs by the middle of this century, according to a new report.

Titled "Envisioning Pennsylvania's Energy Future," the report outlines a plan for increased investments in wind and solar power and energy efficiency that would virtually eliminate reliance on fossil fuels. According to Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, electricity consumers would see savings of $134 billion over 35 years.

"Also, as a result of these policies," she said, "the report calculates that we will see a net increase of nearly 500,000 jobs over this same period of time."

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is sponsoring a free webinar on the report at 1 p.m. Thursday. Information is available at DelawareRiverkeeper.org.

Energy efficiency and conservation are major components of the plan. Carluccio said the technology to substantially reduce the amount of electricity generation required to power the state already exists.

"It's not just a substitution," she said. "It's not just a policy that will help us stretch a dollar, but will actually replace the need for the generation of dirty fossil fuels."

The plan also relies on the electrification of transportation and heating, as well as modernization of building codes to conserve energy.

Pennsylvania is the third-largest energy-producing state and top electricity-exporting state in the nation. Carluccio said the Commonwealth needs to be a major contributor to the global effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and fight climate change.

"We must lead by example and become a model for the rest of the nation," she said, "and say we do not need fossil fuels in order to meet our energy needs."

The report, prepared for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network by EQ Research and Synapse Energy Economics, is online at eq-research.com.

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