Energy Politics

The Indiana Senate has approved a necessary change in the renewable energy bill

The Indiana Senate altered some parts of renewable energy that were problematic. The House version of the energy bill was outlining requirements for the wind and solar projects while sidelining the local government from making an impact in the projects. The amendment proposed by Sen. Mark Messmer assumes a different procedure that is inclusive of the local government. State Sen. Chip Perfect praised the amendment stating that the changes have altered most senators’ opinions since it is going to help all the involved parties. Messmer added that they would maintain these projects’ operations within the jurisdiction of the local leadership to convince the citizens about the nobility of these regulations.

Initially, the bill had articulated the state standards for the wind and solar projects and allowed the locals only to approve the projects’ procession. However, the amendment allows the local authorities to have complete control over the projects and even progress to the authentication of renewable energy districts. Messmer explained that the bill amendments would ensure that a county with various restrictions to relate and collaborate with renewable energy companies has a way out of this by operating as a renewable energy district. The advantage of these districts is that they offer $3000 for every unit of electricity generated through renewable energy companies to benefit the locals.

Joe Rompala of the Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers stated that they are optimistic that the new bill will establish a procedure with rules on promoting renewable energy investments. This move would allow the businesses and citizens in this region to enjoy clean energy. Various stakeholders would benefit in various ways, with the communities enjoying economic investment and growth. Caryl Auslander of Advance Energy Economy Indiana added that companies intending to generate more revenue by offering clean energy would create jobs for the people of the area, establishing a sustainable society. Katrina Hall of the Indiana Farm Bureau emphasized that the amendment has made all of these advantages achievable. Hall added that the partnerships with all the parties made this change possible.

Nevertheless, some lawmakers disagreed with this plan stating that it would be more cautious if they went on with the previous bill without the changes. The head of the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, Tom Murtaugh, stated that the changes would allow solar and wind energy projects to have deep roots in this state.

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Andrzej Kowalski