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Renewable-Energy Bill Remains in Committee

July 2, 2008 — While the lack of a quorum alone Wednesday would have kept the renewable-energy bill in committee, the hot legislation needed some fine tuning to ready it for the Senate's consideration.
"I never intended for us to take a vote on this bill today," Sen. Louis P. Hill said. "We need to schedule another hearing on St. Croix. We need as much participation as we can get to make it a better bill, a more perfect bill."
There was little need to convince the committee that the territory needs to make drastic adjustment to its energy-consumption methods and habits.
"There are all sorts of arguments that we can find not to change, but we should consider the consequence of us doing nothing," Hill said. "A bill is a step in the right direction."
The testifiers who came to the hearing of the Senate's Planning and Environmental Protection Committee represented a broad cross section of the territory, representing the government, private industry, environmental activists, community groups and individuals.
"I am living proof that PV [solar photovoltaic panels] works," said Alfred Neumann of St. Thomas. "My house has been powered by solar PV for the past 27 years."
Seven senators sponsored the bill, which encourages development of renewable energy on both large-scale infrastructure development and small homeowner scale, as well as commercial renewable-energy use.
The bill mandates that 70 percent of new construction in the territory be built with solar water-heating systems, which will be administered by the building-permit process.
The bill also offers tax credits for the purchase and installation of solar equipment. Individuals or corporations may claim "100 percent of the actual cost of the solar equipment or of parts and labor and expenses incurred in its installation …."
The legislation also calls for an exemption for customs duties and excise tax for the equipment.
While the bill's name implies legislation for a broad spectrum of renewable-energy sources, it is written almost exclusively for solar-energy systems, something that Gordon Anderson, president of Green Power Electric, sought to change. The core business of Anderson's company is the small wind-turbine market.
Anderson suggested the scope of the legislation be widened to encompass wind-energy sources.
"This bill is heavily slanted toward solar," Anderson said. "All duty-free and tax credits are for solar. The capital outlay for solar is 2.5 times that of the outlay for wind. I am asking you to give equal ground for wind power."
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July 2, 2008 -- While the lack of a quorum alone Wednesday would have kept the renewable-energy bill in committee, the hot legislation needed some fine tuning to ready it for the Senate's consideration.
"I never intended for us to take a vote on this bill today," Sen. Louis P. Hill said. "We need to schedule another hearing on St. Croix. We need as much participation as we can get to make it a better bill, a more perfect bill."
There was little need to convince the committee that the territory needs to make drastic adjustment to its energy-consumption methods and habits.
"There are all sorts of arguments that we can find not to change, but we should consider the consequence of us doing nothing," Hill said. "A bill is a step in the right direction."
The testifiers who came to the hearing of the Senate's Planning and Environmental Protection Committee represented a broad cross section of the territory, representing the government, private industry, environmental activists, community groups and individuals.
"I am living proof that PV [solar photovoltaic panels] works," said Alfred Neumann of St. Thomas. "My house has been powered by solar PV for the past 27 years."
Seven senators sponsored the bill, which encourages development of renewable energy on both large-scale infrastructure development and small homeowner scale, as well as commercial renewable-energy use.
The bill mandates that 70 percent of new construction in the territory be built with solar water-heating systems, which will be administered by the building-permit process.
The bill also offers tax credits for the purchase and installation of solar equipment. Individuals or corporations may claim "100 percent of the actual cost of the solar equipment or of parts and labor and expenses incurred in its installation ...."
The legislation also calls for an exemption for customs duties and excise tax for the equipment.
While the bill's name implies legislation for a broad spectrum of renewable-energy sources, it is written almost exclusively for solar-energy systems, something that Gordon Anderson, president of Green Power Electric, sought to change. The core business of Anderson's company is the small wind-turbine market.
Anderson suggested the scope of the legislation be widened to encompass wind-energy sources.
"This bill is heavily slanted toward solar," Anderson said. "All duty-free and tax credits are for solar. The capital outlay for solar is 2.5 times that of the outlay for wind. I am asking you to give equal ground for wind power."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.