Pennsylvania government again increases renewables buys

Gov. Edward Rendell, who increased renewable energy purchases by Pennsylvania state government in 2006, again ordered an increase in state purchases of renewables, including some hydropower, to 50 percent of state agency consumption.

Impatient with the Legislature’s failure to pass his Energy Independence Strategy, promoting biofuels, renewables, and conservation, Rendell announced the state again would increase the percentage of electricity it uses that comes from renewable sources.

In 2006, Rendell announced that Pennsylvania state government would buy 200,000 megawatt-hours a year of renewable energy, with 58 percent of the �green� power to come from hydroelectricity. (HNN 9/4/06) In his latest announcement, June 17, the Democrat governor said the state would increase purchases of “green” power to 50 percent of all government electricity purchased by 2010.

Rendell said sources could include “low-impact” hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal, landfill methane, wood, and energy crops.

The governor also proposed reducing state government energy usage another 10 percent, from a 10 percent reduction in 2006, and reducing vehicle fuel usage. Rendell proclaimed a “Dump the Pump Day” June 19, announcing purchase of hybrid public transportation vehicles.

Leaders of Pennsylvania and 15 other states are to gather at the University of Pennsylvania June 23-24 to discuss how to use land management and conservation practices to achieve sustainability and address climate change.

“Paying attention to new practices and policies will help tackle climate change, renewable energy, carbon emissions, sustainability, and more,” Rendell said of the gathering.

Last year, Rendell announced the award of a $750,000 grant to the borough of Leighton to support development of the 2.6-MW Beltzville hydropower project. The project was funded through a Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority program. (HNN 11/2/07)

In February, the governor proposed a multi-year plan to spend $12 million, in the first year, to repair seven state-owned high-hazard dams and another $15 million for repairs and safety-related work at high-hazard dams owned by local governments. (HNN 2/11/08)

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