Since its introduction to the public on December 8th, 2015, the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act has made its way to the front doors of the Maryland General Assembly, with the recent introduction of the bill into the Senate under SB0921 and the upcoming introduction into the House of Delegates this coming Friday, February 12th. The Act proposes an increase to the state’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which would include slight increases to the solar carve-out. The Act schedules a gradual increase in the state’s RPS obligation to satisfy 25 percent of its energy needs with Tier 1 renewable energy sources by 2020 – a significant advancement of the current goal of 20 percent by 2020. The solar carve-out is scheduled to increase incrementally from the current goal of 2.0 percent by 2020 to 2.5 percent by 2025.
Senator Majority Leader Catherine Pugh (D-Baltimore), Delegate Dereck Davis (D-Prince George’s), Senator Brian Feldman (D-Montgomery), and Delegate Bill Frick (D-Montgomery) have championed the concept of the bill since its inception months ago. The bill was first filed in the Senate by Senator Pugh, and was referred to the Finance Committee in its First Reading on February 5th. The bill’s introduction to the House will be this Friday, which will just beat the state’s House Bill Introduction Date, allowing the bill to bypass referral to the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.
While we monitor the progress of this bill on the House and Senate floors, we are continuing to project and analyze the impact that its passage could have on the Maryland solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market. Increasing the annual RPS obligation schedule will also increase the demand for SRECs and support prices in the market. In addition, the Act is anticipated to source $40 million from unallocated contributions from the state’s Strategic Energy Investment Fund, create an estimated 2,000 additional clean energy jobs, and help Maryland address climate change with clean energy.
For more information on the early stages of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, please reference our previous post on the topic from December 11th, 2015.