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Climate activists back solar energy bills

Solar power backers are asking support for a slate of state House bills, including a Residential Energy Tax Credit they consider likely to pass. That measure, House Bill 2447, is a state tax credit that pays half the cost of rooftop solar panels. It would extend to 2022 the installation costs, which are due to expire in 2018. Leading a small solar conclave Friday at the Ashland public library, Charlie Fisher, an “advocate” for the statewide Environment Oregon nonprofit group, said the state gets a “bad” rating for solar use now — only two-tenths of one percent of energy.

His organization and others have the goal of 10 percent by 2025. To do this, he said, it would take a quarter million rooftop solar units, but this is possible, as solar corporations are now the fastest-growing type of corporation in America 

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Experts: Oregon has more potential

Oregon now ranks 11th in the nation with 2,900 solar jobs, according to the Solar Foundation. It ranks 15th in both total solar capacity and the number of homes powered by solar, with 6,775. But industry officials say there’s plenty of room for improvement across the country but especially in Oregon.