With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set to announce new air quality standards for coal- and natural gas-fired power plants on June 2, a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) lays out a case for states to turn to solar power as part of their efforts to comply with Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
Once the new EPA emission standards are in place, each state will be required to create a compliance plan, which must be approved by federal regulators. Failure to do so could result in a more restrictive EPA-mandated plan.
According to the SEIA report, which was prepared by staff in consultation with member companies, solar has already proven to be a key part of many states' energy mix – as demonstrated March 8 when solar provided a record 18% of California's 22.7 GW demand.
SEIA says a recently released White House report spells out the growing dangers of climate change to the U.S. economy and the environment. Citing studies, the nonprofit solar advocacy organization says reducing greenhouse gas emissions -Â especially from existing power plants -Â is a critically important step in combating pollution.
‘We have a very simple message to state regulators: Do the math,’ says Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. ‘When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the 13 GW of solar currently installed in the United States generates enough pollution-free electricity to displace 14.2 billion pounds of coal.’