Vermont has become widely known as a progressive, even cutting-edge state in terms of its public policy. With two out of three of its Congressional delegation officially independent, a groundbreaking civil-unions law, and no fast-food franchises in its state capitol, perhaps that reputation is well-deserved. Energy; its generation, transmission, usage, and impacts upon the Earth, has arisen as a tempestuous, geo-political issue in the past few decades. As the petroleum era explodes (or should we say implodes?), the development and utilization of renewable energy sources has become vitally important for the survival of humanity and all the other species on our shared Earth. So then, how is the tiny green state of Vermont doing in terms of the development of solar energy, one of the central tenets of the renewable energy movement? What policies exist to help direct its agencies and organizations? What financial incentives are in place to encourage a homeowner to invest in solar technology and design? In one year, the equivalent of over 5 million kilowatt hours of solar energy hits each acre in Vt. (Vt. Solar Energy Guide, 1993) How well is the government of Vermont motivating people to stick something in front of all that energy?
The main agency entrusted with renewable energy in Vt. is the Dept. of Public Service (D.P.S.) formerly headed up by Richard Sedano, now run by Davis O’Brien. This office works with many of the other groups in the state that push for the use of more solar power and other renewable energy sources. From the D.P.S. website we can read former governor Dean’s official Energy Initiative (Dec. 2001): It “is a long-term vision for Vermont that looks ...
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...nd people wanting to help. Although there could always be more money waved around to persuade more people to invest in solar, the state of Vermont seems to be taking forward-thinking, yet cautious, stand in support of renewable energy.
Renewable Energy Resource Center www.rerc-vt.org
Vt. Public Service Dept www.state.vt.us/psd
Renewable Energy Vermont www.revermont.org
Vt. Energy Investment Co. www.veic.org
Burlington Electric Co. www.burlingtonelectric.com
10 % Challenge www.10percentchallenge.org
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy www.dsireusa.org
Million Solar Roofs www.millionsloarroffs.com
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