Regional and Urban Design Committee


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The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

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Why targets for solar and wind need a placement plan

  • 1.  Why targets for solar and wind need a placement plan

    Posted 02-25-2019 17:43


    It's not easy being green, that is why the suggested Green New Deal is far from being a done deal. Why green initiatives are not a walk in the park is well illustrated by the difficulties that Maryland's renewable energy ambitions encounter. In 2017 Maryland passed a bill  mandating 25% of all energy to be renewable by 2020. Predictable opposition came from those who, like Maryland's Governor, think that ambitious renewable energy portfolios are too disruptive and costly for the state's economy.
    Are solar "farms" this scenic?
    "This legislation is a tax increase that will be levied upon every single electricity ratepayer in Maryland and, for that reason alone, I cannot allow it to become law," Hogan
    So the Governor vetoed the bill, then legislators overrode the veto and the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) became law. Thus Maryland became one of 29 states and the District of Columbia with RPS requirements. But Maryland is far from being a nirvana for renewable energy production thanks to renewable energy credit (RECs) that allow energy providers to buy their way out of compliance.
    Although it varies from year to year, typically over 85 percent of non-solar Tier 1 RECs used for compliance with the Maryland RPS come from outside the state. Of these RECs, about 80 percent are from states within the PJM service area 
    Each electricity supplier must submit a report to the Public Service Commission annually that demonstrates compliance with the RPS. An electricity supplier that fails to meet the standard must pay into the Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF).  In 2019 1.95% tier 1 solar is required. Compliance fees paid into the SEIF, which is administered by the Maryland Energy Administration, will be used to fund grant and loan programs for Tier 1 renewable energy resources. Compliance fees for the solar obligation may only be used to support new solar resources in the state.
    According to EIA, renewable energy generation accounted for about 10 percent of Maryland's total net generation in 2017, broken down as follows: 5.8 percent from hydro; 1.6 percent from biomass; 1.5 percent from wind; and less than 1 percent from solar (975 MW).  (DNR Report 2018)
    This puts Maryland's national rank in renewables at #12 in solar and #31 in wind. This is why, with news...Read full article

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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  • 2.  RE: Why targets for solar and wind need a placement plan

    Posted 02-26-2019 17:55
    RECs are very good to use, as long as they last. It’s best to pick the low-hanging fruit first. RECs allow you to invest in solar collectors in the sunniest places, and wind machines in the windiest places.
    So goferit, State of Maryland!

    Doug Kelbaugh FAIA 2016 Topaz Medallion Laureate

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