Title of Abstract

Solar Energy in South Carolina: Its Potential Use and How to Further Implement it

Submitting Student(s)

Grant HoumielFollow

Faculty Mentor

Two WU mentors; Jennifer Disney, Ph. D; Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.; disneyj@winthrop.edu; lipscombm@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph. D; Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

Abstract

In this paper, I explore the question of the supply, demand, potential, and obstacles to the development of solar energy in South Carolina. I have researched how much annual sunlight South Carolina annually receives, as well as how much land in South Carolina is suitable for the development of solar farms, and have determined that there is the potential to have a substantial part of its power grid supplemented by solar energy. After determining that the potential is there, I researched the demand for increased solar energy in South Carolina, and I discovered that the demand for solar energy greatly exceeds the supply, so this is not the reason for so little development of solar energy in South Carolina. I then researched the incentives offered by the major energy company in South Carolina, SCE&G, and determined that they offer almost no incentive to use renewable energy. After a little more research, I discovered that the utility companies in South Carolina had been fighting tooth and nail to prevent solar development in South Carolina. Due to this, I have determined that it will be largely policy change that will aid in the development of solar energy in South Carolina, and that can be seen with the impact that Act 236 has had. South Carolina does have the potential to have 25% of the State’s energy being produced by solar energy.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

PLSC 490 - Disney and Lipscomb

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Solar Energy in South Carolina: Its Potential Use and How to Further Implement it

In this paper, I explore the question of the supply, demand, potential, and obstacles to the development of solar energy in South Carolina. I have researched how much annual sunlight South Carolina annually receives, as well as how much land in South Carolina is suitable for the development of solar farms, and have determined that there is the potential to have a substantial part of its power grid supplemented by solar energy. After determining that the potential is there, I researched the demand for increased solar energy in South Carolina, and I discovered that the demand for solar energy greatly exceeds the supply, so this is not the reason for so little development of solar energy in South Carolina. I then researched the incentives offered by the major energy company in South Carolina, SCE&G, and determined that they offer almost no incentive to use renewable energy. After a little more research, I discovered that the utility companies in South Carolina had been fighting tooth and nail to prevent solar development in South Carolina. Due to this, I have determined that it will be largely policy change that will aid in the development of solar energy in South Carolina, and that can be seen with the impact that Act 236 has had. South Carolina does have the potential to have 25% of the State’s energy being produced by solar energy.