Emerging Markets Law

Solar Power Bill Passes in Georgia

In one of its last acts before adjourning for the year, the Georgia senate passed a solar power bill (H.B. 57) that will significantly relax the state's electric territorial act in a way that will make distributed solar power more accessible in the state.

Georgia is one of the few states in the nation where incumbent electric utilities have an exclusive monopoly on the ability to generate electric power.

The new legislation, which is expected to be signed by the Governor, will permit home owners and businesses to own or lease solar power systems on their properties.  Owners of the solar power system may either use the electricity they generate or sell it to the incumbent electric utility.

Before passage of the solar power bill, Georgia homeowners and businesses needed to apply to the electric utility for permission to own or operate a solar power facility.  Permission was rarely granted.

In the U.S. in 2014, roughly one-third of all new electric generating capacity was provided by solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.  Solar power is also more affordable than ever before.  Since 2010 the cost of solar power has fallen by more than one-half.

Cost of U.S. Solar Power

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