A just released survey by the Solar Energy Industry Association finds Virginia’s two neighboring states North Carolina and Maryland ranking 5th and 8th respectively in solar energy, photovoltaic panels, installed in 2012. Virginia was grouped in the bottom 25 states. Other eastern states in the top 25 included New York at 10th, Pennsylvania at 11th, Tennessee at 14th, Delaware at 19th with Washington, DC ranked 25th.
“Virginia continues to fall further behind our neighbors in this growing industry”, said Glen Besa, Virginia Director of the Sierra Club. “Solar and wind energy today actually employ more people nationwide than the coal industry.”
“Dominion Virginia Power is holding us back every year they refuse to make a serious commitment to bringing job-creating solar, wind and energy efficiency to our state,” continued Besa.
Dominion’s current plans rely primarily on climate disrupting natural gas and new prohibitively expensive nuclear power plants to meet future energy needs in the state. The Sierra Club and other groups are opposing Dominion’s latest plans to build a $1 billion new natural gas in Brunswick County, VA.
In testimony filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on behalf of Sierra Club, energy expert David Schlissel reviewed Dominion’s current energy plans through 2050 and found those plans fail to protect Virginia’s families from rising electricity costs and the threat of worsening climate disruption that causes flooding and more extreme storms. (See links to reports below.)
“At a time when we need to reduce our carbon pollution to limit the most severe impacts of climate change, such as recurrent flooding in Norfolk and Hampton, it is alarming that Dominion’s plans would increase their carbon pollution by more than 25% between now and 2040 while refusing to make commonsense investments in energy efficiency that is far cheaper for their customers than a new natural gas plant,” said Besa.
“We can’t understand how Dominion can acknowledge climate change is real and still be relying on coal and gas for 58% of their power in 2030 with only 6% of that energy from renewable sources. That’s just irresponsible,“ said Besa.