We have to put a stop to this! The electric companies will NOT control us – SOLAR is the future and we will make it happen now – TOGETHER!
The utilities are ever more threatened by rooftop solar and are fighting it however they can. Even though grid connected solar helps them during peak load times (e.g. air conditioning needed), even though solar might be saving them from having to build more power plants, they do not want to lose those monthly payments! They claim it is unfair for people to get power from the sun when others have to pay for utilities costs, such as maintenance, and this is a somewhat reasonable argument. So levy a small monthly fee, as California has done, to even the load. But, one cannot disconnect from the grid altogether, as this is illegal in most places.
Solar’s growth has burgeoned in the last decade, but now it’s growth is dramatically slowing, as you can see in the chart below. One reason: the utilities working with state governments to reduce or end incentives, and to levy fees on solar customers. The NY Times calls it a “concerted and well funded lobbying campaign“. One of their methods is to claim it is unfair that people who cannot afford solar installations do not have the benefit of selling back power to the utilities! One could take that a step farther and say it is unfair that they have to pay for their electricity. Silly. Solar customers just pay for it differently, with the money not going to the utilities.
Several states have disallowed or decreased net metering (selling the unused electricity back to the utilities) and more are imposing fees on solar customers. Three of the sunniest states – Nevada, Arizona and Florida – have seen some of the biggest battles. Nevada residents fought back and won concessions for current solar customers, but not new ones. Florida residents also won a battle against changing the state’s constitution to hinder solar.
The Edison Institute, a lobbying org. made up of the largest electric companies, now has one of its own in trump’s Energy Dept. He will be responsible for a study on how renewables are changing the grid. He has assigned the person who called “clean energy policies the single greatest emerging threat to the electric power grid.” to write this study.
As legal battles grow, solar growth may decrease, as the chart below shows is happening now.
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Barbara Hirsch, eco-nut
Santa Barbara, California
“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss