Named after the mighty river that bisects our great nation, home of the Port Gibson Heritage Festival, and birthplace of celebrities ranging from the wealthiest woman in the United States, Oprah Winfrey, to the sensational amphibian Kermit the Frog, Mississippi has had its share of success. It's also had its challenges. Hurricane Katrina caused enough damage to leave the state in a clean-up daze that has left the green economy in the “Magnolia State” singing the blues.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, caused by energy goliath British Petroleum (BP), has added to the woes of the Mississippi coastline. As a result, the state’s budget has been consumed with urgent matters that need attention now, relegating solar and other renewable energy ideas to the back burner.
Fortunately, Mississippi does have some policies in place to help keep the renewable energy market moving forward with incentives, rebates, and tax breaks that make installing renewable energy systems much more feasible.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has created a program called generation partners Green Power Switch (GPS) that encourages consumers to give back by providing incentives to install renewable energy systems offering to not only offset the cost of expensive energy bills, but to also provide a means for consumers to become producers, and sell their excess energy back to the TVA at very competitive prices.
By allowing residents to turn a profit on their environmentally conscious investment, renewable technology has become much more attractive, especially with programs like the energy investment loan program which allows consumers to borrow the money needed to purchase and build renewable energy installations at a fixed interest rate that is 3 percent less than the prime rate.
Mississippi currently does have some good green policies in place, but until it’s able to establish a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, it will still be trailing the greater majority of the nation in progressive renewable technology and policy, the investors who wish to cash in on the new green revolution, and the jobs that would come with the production and maintenance of the new installations.