Full Title: Cutting Carbon Emissions Under §111(d)
Author(s): N/A
Publisher(s): Solar Energy Industries Association
Publication Date: 5/2014


In June 2013, President Obama announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose carbon pollution standards for existing power plants under §111(d) of the Clean Air Act. While the carbon pollution standards will apply to all major fossil fuel power plants, the EPA is expected to allow for flexibility in how states choose to reduce emissions from their power plant fleets.

This report explains the advantages to states of incorporating solar energy in their energy portfolios in light of the forthcoming §111(d) regulations for existing power plants. Because solar energy emits zero carbon emissions while generating reliable energy, increasing solar energy deployment will help states meet the carbon standards under §111(d). Increasing solar will also help achieve compliance with other clean air objectives, including the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Moreover, the steady decline in solar energy costs makes it a cost-effective solution to grid operations, state energy independence and water supply challenges, while simultaneously lowering long-term electricity supply costs and providing economic benefits. Regulators will find that the variety of solar energy systems, which enable solar technologies to fit in large and small areas and in a wide range of locations, and the speed of solar deployment makes solar energy among the most flexible tools for meeting emissions goals while serving key energy needs.