The legislature finds and declares that stimulating local investment in distributed renewable energy generation is an important part of a state energy strategy, helping to increase energy independence from fossil fuels, promote economic development, hedge against the effects of climate change, and attain environmental benefits. The legislature intends to increase the effectiveness of the existing renewable energy investment cost recovery program by reducing the maximum incentive rate provided for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by a renewable energy system over the period of the program and by creating opportunities for broader participation by low-income individuals and others who may not own the premises where a renewable energy system may be installed. The legislature intends to provide an incentive sufficient to promote installation of systems through 2021, at which point the legislature expects that the state’s renewable energy industry will be capable of sustained growth and vitality without the cost recovery incentive.
Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives — and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.