California pushes a new plan to cut rooftop solar incentives
The green benefits of rooftop solar power were highlighted in a story published earlier this month by E&E News titled “Solar power is the future, and California has a tool that helps.”
The article says that the state wants to lower the cost of solar energy by encouraging the use of less expensive systems (batteries and solar panels).
The article does not mention that the plan would raise the price of state government bonds by 3.8 percent and increase the price of the utility-backed bond by 2 percent.
A new plan from California to cut incentives was first reported in the Sacramento Bee.
The plan would also mean a 3.8 percent increase in state and local power consumption, which affects electricity prices, the prices of food, oil, electricity and more. It would also mean the loss of an estimated 1,600 renewable energy jobs and 1,900 solar jobs through 2020.
California’s plan would only apply to homeowners who have solar panels on their homes.
Here’s what other experts are saying about the plan:
On the record,
Susanne Craig, associate director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy lab that focuses on energy storage. She says the plan is troubling because it goes against what the lab predicts in its “National Energy Strategy 2014-18.”
(She also says the state’s plan to encourage clean energy jobs and the loss of renewable energy jobs “shouldn’t be the end of the conversation.”)
Craig says the plan would “impose huge new costs” on California. She says it would put more solar panels on homes, which would cost more, as well as put solar energy on the side of highways, “which puts a very large solar car on the road and uses a lot of gasoline.” (The California Energy Commission notes that the plan is based on the premise that solar energy is “not yet cost competitive with the cheapest forms of energy.”)
And while she says the plan is “good news for the environment,” she says it would also be “very costly to the taxpayers.” She says that “by removing incentives, the state is putting the taxpayers on the hook for a lot more in future years.”
On the blog,
Peter N. Coleman, senior policy analyst at the National Oceanic