During his January 8 2015 inaugural address for his third term as Governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin called attention to his state’s commitment to move forward with public microgrid and renewable energy development:
“Yesterday’s huge power plants, far away out there somewhere, connected to us by miles and miles of poles and wires, will be supplanted by tomorrow’s integrated microgrid, with community-scaled renewable energy systems powering our smart green homes and businesses. That’s the future.”
Shumlin went on to outline the ways in which Vermont has benefitted from their efforts to grow their renewable energy market, which have helped to create jobs and keep energy prices down:
“[T]he policies that you helped put in place over the last few years spurred Vermont’s success. Make no mistake about it… This has fostered a clean energy sector that has created over 15,000 jobs for Vermonters — 15,000 jobs since we started this out. It has enabled us to build and deploy more than five times the amount of local solar on the grid now than on my first day in office…making Vermont number one in the nation for solar jobs per capita, and helping us sustain one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. It’s a good deal.”
These statements came hard on the heels of similar ones made by California Governor Jerry Brown in his inaugural address on January 5th. To meet California’s goals of increasing the percentage of electricity derived from renewable sources to 50%, Governor Brown stated that California’s energy infrastructure must continue to evolve:
“It means that we continue to transform our electrical grid, our transportation system and even our communities. I envision a wide range of initiatives: more distributed power, expanded rooftop solar, microgrids, an energy imbalance market, battery storage, the full integration of information technology and electrical distribution and millions of electric and low-carbon vehicles.”
Such high-level publicity from government leaders calls attention to the need for domestic microgrid development and indicates a growing public awareness and commitment to distributed renewable energy in the US.