According to a new report from Washington, D.C.-based Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), policy changes in Missouri that would enable companies to contract directly with third-party suppliers of renewable energy and raising the state's cap on the size of installations that qualify for net metering would grow the renewable energy sector and drive private investment, job creation and economic growth.
Missouri lags in renewable energy development compared with some of its neighbors, the AEE says.Â Missouri enjoys roughly the same wind energy resource as Illinois, yet more than eight times as much wind energy capacity has been installed in Illinois as in Missouri. Iowa, which enjoys a wind resource that is two-and-a-half times greater than Missouri's, has more than 12 times as much installed wind energy capacity as Missouri.
The report, prepared for the AEE by Meister Consultants Group, says Missouri's high renewable energy potential makes it well positioned to capture the economic benefits of growing corporate demand for renewables, but barriers that keep willing buyers and sellers from doing business are stifling market growth. Meeting just 1% of the energy needs of large corporate customers in Missouri with new wind and solar resources would drive approximately $220 million in project-related and induced economic development, the report concludes.
"Missouri is poised to capture a share of the significant corporate purchasing that is driving expansion of renewable energy markets elsewhere in the country," says Anna Giovinetto, senior director of state industry analysis at the AEE. ‘This report identifies policy solutions that don't require government mandates. Rather, Missouri can position itself to capture the economic benefits of corporate renewable purchasing simply by eliminating outdated regulatory barriers.’
A free download of the report, ‘Expanding Missouri's Corporate Renewable Energy Market,’ is available here.