June 2nd, 2014 should prove to be a historic day for clean energy in South Carolina. As Governor Haley signed into law landmark solar legislation (S.1189), the EPA released new rules to address carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Click here for an overview of S.1189.
Instead of cookie-cutter requirements for every power plant in the country, the standards allow discretion at the state and utility system level to reduce carbon with clean energy alternatives like efficiency upgrades and solar power. South Carolina is well positioned to meet its targets in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Click here for an overview and additional resources related to the new carbon pollution rule.
As noted by Blan Holman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, “Job creators like Boeing, BMW and Google seek the clean energy we are building in South Carolina. Some doomsayers resist improvements that protect human health, but time and time again, they are proved wrong as prosperity grows along with clean energy innovation.”
Increasing energy efficiency investments, which should be a key component of South Carolina’s compliance strategy for this rule, could actually result in lower bills for utility customers. Additionally, the cost of solar has decreased precipitously, and utility scale solar is now competitive with traditional generation options like coal and natural gas. Having solar offset the need to import and burn coal and natural gas is a win-win for our economy and environment.
Along with already-planned coal retirements and capacity replacements with natural gas and other sources, South Carolina is on track to reduce its power sector carbon emissions quickly and economically.