Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., has released his agenda to promote jobs and sustainability and it includes plans for more solar energy. This 2010 agenda is focused on increasing renewable energy production and tax credits. O’Malley’s energy package works to support Maryland’s economy by increasing clean energy and green jobs in Maryland by acceleration of the State’s solar Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to put more clean energy on the grid faster, as well as off-shore wind legislation to create an effective regulatory framework for off-shore wind energy development. Additional proposed legislation calls for extending renewable energy tax credits for businesses interested in going green, as well as tax credits for families to purchase plug-in electric vehicles as they become commercially available later over the coming year.
The solar RPS legislation would increase the state's solar mandate in 2011-2017, making the phase-in of the solar RPS more evenly distributed over the next decade and providing more long-term support for Maryland's growing solar industry. This change will put the state's solar goals more in line with those of New Jersey and Delaware. The Governor's office also stated that by helping to provide additional solar energy in Maryland will result in the decrease of peak load electricity prices in the summertime, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil-fueled powered generation, create new green jobs, and help Maryland meet its renewable energy goals
In addition, while reauthorizing a renewable energy tax credit that currently expires at the end of 2010, the governor plans to retain an existing program cap of $25 million. The credit offers Marylanders a state income tax credit, limited to $2.5 million, to any eligible taxpayer. The rate is 0.85 cents per kWh for electricity from qualified resources, and 0.50 cents per kWh for electricity generated from co-firing a qualified resource with coal.