Kim joins PennEnvironment to urge PA to pursue clean energy production

HARRISBURG, Oct. 11 – State Rep. Patty Kim joined representatives from PennEnvironment at a news conference at the state Capitol today marking the release of the organization’s new study ranking Pennsylvania 50th in the nation for percent growth in total solar, wind and geothermal generation since 2013.

“If the environmental and weather disasters happening worldwide tell us anything, it’s that we must come together now to develop a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania,” Kim said. “Developing a clean energy economy is the best chance to avoid the full devastating impact of climate change.

“The PA Legislature can play a key role in fostering a clean energy economy, but too many bills have been stalled in committee,” Kim said. “I’m calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to realize that time is running out fast. Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives depend on us passing smart, commonsense legislation quickly to turn the tide against the onslaught of climate change.”

The study, “Renewables on the Rise 2023,” charts the growth of six key clean energy technologies in states over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations. 

The report demonstrates that clean energy in the commonwealth is growing at a much slower rate than other states. Since 2013, Pennsylvania has seen a nominal increase in wind power, and ranks 50th in change in energy savings. Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency programs have faltered to the point where they are only saving a third of the energy they did a decade ago in 2013.

According to PennEnvironment, renewables are rising in Pennsylvania, but clean energy in the Keystone State is growing at a much slower rate than other states. So, while Pennsylvania has tripled solar production in the last decade (most of this growth coming since 2019) and seen a nominal increase in wind power, the U.S. by contrast saw a 12-fold growth in solar power and more than doubled wind production. In the same time period, the leading state, Texas, built out 90 times as much renewable power as Pennsylvania.

Kim drew attention to the bills stalled in the state legislature that could help Pennsylvania increase its renewable energy production, including legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency, H.B. 1615; increasing requirements for renewable energy production, S.B. 755; and committing to a 100% renewable energy future, S.B. 422. Kim said she believes that if Pennsylvania remains in RGGI, it would likely also give the commonwealth more tools to rise in the rankings and change Pennsylvania’s renewable energy story.

“If the legislature takes action on the bills already in circulation, we would quickly be able to make great strides in getting Pennsylvania to be a leader in the de-escalation of the climate crisis and a leader in developing opportunities in the clean energy economy,” Kim said. “Clean energy isn’t just the smart choice for Pennsylvania; it’s the only choice.”