Attacks on solar abound during 2024 state legislative session

New subcommittees, proposed commissions offer hope for better energy policy

April 2, 2024
Contact: Jennette Gayer, Environment Georgia Director, c-703-475-3228, [email protected] | Andrea Jones, Georgia WAND Government Relations and Public Policy Director, c-713-373-1699, [email protected] | Amy Rawe, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]

ATLANTA – The Georgia state legislature has closed the books on its 2023-24 session with little change to state policies regarding solar energy. Lawmakers denied multiple anti-solar bills but also failed to pass legislation that would have helped grow Georgia’s solar capacity.

“Expanding access to clean solar power is good for our air, health and bank accounts,”said Environment Georgia’s State Director Jennette Gayer“It is disappointing to see so many bills attacking clean energy that takes advantage of a free and abundant source of fuel – sunshine.”

Bills that would have undermined progress on our transition to clean, renewable energy included:

  • HB 449 would have eliminated the incentive for farmers and landowners to install solar panels on their property for public use.

  • SB 578 would have revoked groundwater withdrawal permits when solar power is installed on a property with an active water withdrawal permit.

  • HR 1505 called for “preservation of our state’s farmland by mitigating the placement of solar facilities on productive farm and agricultural land” and set up a study committee to identify solutions.

Unfortunately two pro-solar bills failed to receive votes in committee:

  • SB 210 by Sen. Anavitarte (31st) and HB 1152 by Rep. Camp (135th) Would have authorized community solar installations in Georgia to help Georgians living in apartments or with shady roofs.

“Solar energy, especially community solar, threatens Georgia Power’s monopoly on energy production in the state,” said Georgia WAND’s Government Relations and Public Policy Director Andrea Jones. “It’s unfortunate because we need to diversify our energy production to support economic development and provide energy for a growing population.” 

Clean energy advocates were also disappointed that legislation (SB 457 by Sen. Huffstetler) to reinstate a Consumer Utility Commission, a former state watchdog organization, failed to pass.

“Bill payers in Georgia desperately need someone to keep an eye on the Public Service Commission,” said Gayer“Days before the end of the Georgia legislative session Commission staff announced an agreement that will likely lead to future bill increases for Georgia Power customers.”

Electric vehicle drivers in Georgia did get a jolt of good news. HB 516, which included a section delaying implementation of a new EV charging fee to 2026, passed.

“We should be encouraging Georgians to buy a clean, locally made electric vehicle,”said Gayer.“This delay gives us time to make sure we are helping, not harming, EV infrastructure and drivers.”

Other bright spots in the session included the creation of a Community Solar Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Beth Camp and the passage of HB 1129, which pauses tax credits for power-consuming data centers and would create a commission to study their vast energy use.

“We urge Gov. Brian Kemp to sign HB 1129,” said Gayer. “Georgians should not have to shoulder the increased pollution and energy costs that data centers bring.”

“This session proved that in the interim we must focus our efforts on educating consumers about the incentive to expand solar power and to advocate for more consumer protections on the PSC,” concluded Jones.


Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible and equitable energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at

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