- Posted by Jessica Lee Reece (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Reznick Group’s Wes Hudson, co-managing principal of the Atlanta office, recently authored an excellent article discussing how Georgia needs to up the ante in the renewable energy game, given that “in an economy with record unemployment, Georgia has turned down billions of dollars in federal grants intended to stimulate investment in renewable energy in the past 12 months.”
An excerpt from Mr. Hudson’s article:
It was recently reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://ajc.com/business/georgia-power-to-double-595617.html ) that “Georgia Power is doubling the amount of solar energy it will buy from independent producers.” Unfortunately, doubling a ludicrously low number is more an exercise in green-washing than any real progress. Especially given glaring facts such as the fact that there is literally 10 times more solar energy installed in DeSoto County Florida (25 Megawatts) than the entire state of Georgia).
While Reznick Group and numerous other companies and professional organizations like the Georgia Solar Energy Association continue to applaud this change in stance by the nation’s most obstinate power company, such changes in heart are unfortunately essentially cosmetic.
The new stance by the power company is truly only modestly helpful news for real estate, and then only on the very small scale as compared to other southern states. The latest change in corporate policy by the public utility is unfortunately very, very limited (by design) and does not, indeed cannot, apply to the required larger commercial and utility scale solar projects that big-box companies are preferring to do in other states like North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and other southern states. So Georgia is still at the back of the line in relative comparison.
Yet Georgia’s economy cannot afford to lose out on large commercial and utility scale solar and biomass projects, which continue to select other southeastern states for their base of operations. Why? It’s because Georgia state law does not support the renewable energy electrical sales industry and instead supports fossil and nuclear fuels. Georgia only dabbles in biomass and landfill gas to serve the purposes of corporate marketing. Hydro power is maxed out.