Solar power offers $6 billion opportunity for Louisiana, researchers say


Efforts by a task force created Gov. John Bel Edwards to recruit and launch carbon capture projects in Louisiana—as a way to reduce the state’s industrial emissions—could cause the state to miss out on roughly $6 billion in solar energy investments, according to a report from Louisiana Illuminator. 

In July,  the LSU Center for Energy Studies reported that heavy industry is responsible for 61% of Louisiana’s total emissions, and most of that comes from just 20 petrochemical facilities.

In light of that data, some members of Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force say the only way to meet the governor’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 is to reduce the state’s industrial footprint. In other words, those 20 facilities either need to reduce their operations or find much cleaner ways of operating.

Professor Terrence Chambers, director of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Energy Center and a member of the task force, says there is roughly $6 billion in investments waiting to come to Louisiana that could provide power for more than 1 million homes with solar energy or roughly one-quarter of the state’s net electricity demand.

Renewable energies alone cannot get Louisiana to its emissions goal, but Chambers says renewables would make an immediate impact on carbon emissions at a level no other solution currently available can match. Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.