Senator Lawrence, Representative Berry, and distinguished members of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee. I am pleased to provide this testimony in support of LD 314, An Act to Continue the Green Power Electricity Offer.
Green Power Transition Vital
Bolstering and accelerating our transition to a future powered by clean energy is key to Maine’s efforts to address climate change and to ensuring a healthier, more prosperous and resilient future for all Maine residents. LD 314 will help in advancing this essential work by allowing Maine electricity customers to continue to support renewable energy through the procurement of renewable energy credits (RECs) equal to all or a portion of their electricity usage. Proceeds from the provision of these RECs are utilized to increase the generation and deployment of renewable energy in Maine and elsewhere. This customer-engaged approach to supporting green power has proved popular and has contributed to the sizable and growing increase in renewable energy generation and to thousands of renewable energy jobs.
Benefits Vastly Outweigh Costs
The benefits of expanding renewable energy development and usage in Maine are considerable. Among them:
- Significant reductions in Maine’s carbon emissions and other air pollutants – contributing to substantial public health and environmental gains and savings.
- Greater investment in in-state energy generation and jobs. Maine currently sends more than $4 billion out-of-state annually to pay for the energy that we consume. Imagine the increase in economic output if we were to invest and spend these energy dollars in Maine.
- Millions of dollars in increased revenues for Maine businesses and communities.
- Decreased reliance on out-of-state and out-of-country energy sources.
- A more modern, reliable, and secure electrical grid.
- Energy sources that are inexhaustible, and, unlike fossil fuels, energy costs that are likely to decrease, not increase over time.
Little, If Any Downside
There is little to no downside to allowing Maine electricity consumers the option of supporting renewable energy by participating in a green power offer program. And while it is not likely to be the biggest driver of renewable energy development in Maine, the “offer” is constructive and will help in advancing to a more sustainable and prosperous clean energy economy that works for all.
For these reasons, NRCM strongly supports LD 314, An Act to Continue the Green Power Electricity Offer.