JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.— At the 2015 Midwest Energy Policy Conference in St. Louis, the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Division of Energy presented the key recommendations of the comprehensive statewide energy plan, which provides guidance for ensuring access to clean, reliable, affordable, and abundant energy, while promoting job creation and investment.
“With world-class research institutions, innovative businesses and a highly-skilled workforce, Missouri is well-positioned to build a more secure and independent energy future that will benefit families and businesses alike,” said Mike Downing, director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “These recommendations will provide valuable guidance for policymakers looking to grow Missouri’s energy solutions industry and spur job creation throughout our state.”
In June 2014, Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order 14-06, directing Division of Energy to work with energy cooperatives and providers, businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive statewide energy plan and provide a framework to fulfill Missouri’s long- and short-term needs for clean, reliable, affordable, and abundant energy.
Starting in October 2014, seven public meetings were held throughout the state to gather input from consumers, electric cooperatives, businesses, and other energy stakeholders. In total, over 500 individuals, including Steering Committee members, business leaders, energy innovators, and members of the public, served on a Working Group by contributing ideas, acting as liaisons between the Working Groups and their respective stakeholder groups or constituencies, and reviewing and providing feedback on the plan.
“The Division of Energy led a thoughtful, transparent and robust process to gather input from the public, and I thank the hundreds of Missourians across the state who contributed to this important effort,” Director Downing said.
After collecting public comments, the 55-member steering committee broke into working groups along with other stakeholders to concentrate on key objectives for the plan including promoting development of secure and affordable diverse energy resources; encouraging energy efficiency in all sectors; spurring job creation and growth in Missouri’s energy solutions industry; and ensuring stable and predictable energy prices.
The recommendations for action were developed through an analysis of Missouri’s current energy outlook, potential for the future, and input gathered from the plan’s comprehensive, transparent, collaborative stakeholder engagement process. Drawing insight from best practices around the country, the recommendations reflect the views and opinions of numerous business leaders, energy innovators, and members of the public.
A summary of the plan’s recommendations is below. To read the executive summary, click here.
· Efficiency of Use
o Modifying the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act
o Improving Missouri’s Water Infrastructure
o Improving Missouri’s State Vehicle Fleet
o Developing Statewide Building Energy Codes
o Utilizing Missouri’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Act, improving Missouri’s Energy Loan Program and expanding Missouri’s Linked Deposit Program
o Expanding Energy Improvements in State Facilities
o Developing Residential Energy Efficiency Programs for Hard-to-Reach Sectors
o Maintaining Business Affordability and Competitiveness
o Strengthening Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard
o Improving Missouri’s Interconnection and Net Metering Rule
o Establishing Comprehensive Solar Energy System Rights
o Expanding Combined Heat and Power Applications
o Planning for Smart Grid
o Accelerating Grid Modernization
o Reforming the Ratemaking Process
o Facilitating Public-Private Investments in Resources and Technology
o Investigating Biomass Co-firing Opportunities
Recommendations are being considered and assessed to further understand feasibility, costs, benefits, and timelines for implementation. Policymakers, including administration officials and legislators, can then develop priorities and action objectives. The plan also describes case studies and an analysis of Missouri’s diverse energy resources. More information about the plan can be found at https://energy.mo.gov/energy/about/comprehensive-state-energy-plan.
Missouri currently boasts the 6th lowest industrial electricity rates and consumers enjoy some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. The state’s 7,500 energy solutions firms provide jobs to more than 117,817 Missourians. Last year alone, Missouri increased its solar capacity by 73 megawatts from the previous year, ranking 11th in the country, and more than 2,000 clean energy jobs were created between 2013 and 2014.