Oregon clean economy leaders talk agenda

OSEIA's Glenn Montgomery discussed his agenda with business leaders at Climate Solutions.

OSEIA's Glenn Montgomery discussed his agenda with business leaders at Climate Solutions.

A panel of six cleantech industry experts came together Wednesday to talk with business leaders about their priorities for the year.

The overview, sponsored by Climate Solutions, uncovered nothing in the way of ambitious goals on the part of the renewable energy, smart grid and electric vehicle industries. Instead, it showed a industry sector squarely focused on defense.

“We survived another year,” quipped Glenn Montgomery, who leads the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association as executive director. “That’s life on the solar coaster.”

While the solar industry is grateful for the fact that Oregon still offers incentives for home rooftop solar systems under the Residential Energy Tax Credit, Montgomery lamented the fact that large-sized solar installations are scarce to non-existent in the state.

Still, the solar industry hardly looks like one in decline. Montgomery said Oregon saw 11 megawatts of new solar capacity installed in Oregon last year.

“That’s one-third of what we did in the last nine years,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Renewable Northwest Project and the wind industry, RNP’s Deputy Director John Audley spoke about the strong need for both the preservation of the federal Production Tax Credit and the for state-level renewable portfolio standards — mandates that utilities find a certain amount of their power from renewable energy.

Audley said there are a number of bills in the Washington Legislature looking to undo that’s state’s RPS standard of 15 percent renewable energy by 2020. (Oregon’s RPS calls for 25 percent from clean sources by 2025.)

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