If the utilities decide to penalize solar customers by changing the net-metering system, some of us will install batteries and store energy rather than send it to the utility. What then? A battery tax? Storm troopers breaking down my door in the middle of the night looking for batteries under the floorboards?
Your Dec. 29 editorial “Nevada’s Solar Flare” targets the solar-leasing companies, calling them “overgrown solar babies,” and there is some truth to that. But many of us bought our systems outright. I make about one-third of the energy I use; the rest I buy from the utility. Nobody subsidizes me; I pay the same price for electricity that all customers do. Consider this analogy: If I use less gasoline than the guy with the big SUV, should I be charged extra to pay my “fair share” of the fossil-fuel infrastructure? Doesn’t big oil have refineries and trucks and gas stations, just as big electric has transmission, delivery and grid maintenance? Every commodity has an infrastructure, but where else do we attempt to parse the infrastructure and charge separately for it?
If the utilities decide to penalize solar customers by changing the net-metering system, some of us will install batteries and store energy rather than send it to the utility. What then? A battery tax? Storm troopers breaking down my door in the middle of the night looking for batteries under the floorboards? How far do we take this foolishness? It’s very interesting that the utilities have no problem with making solar energy themselves; they just don’t like it when the customer does it. But it’s the future, fellows, and while you may hinder it for a while, you can’t stop it.
Your editorial applauds Nevada’s decision to roll back net metering, stating that the solar industry is no longer in its infancy and should grow up. Later you point out that federal incentives have only been in place since 2006. It sounds to me like this is an industry that has barely begun to grow.
Contrast that with nuclear and fossil fuel industries which have been getting government help for 50 years or more. Nuclear has the Price Anderson Act limitation on liability and subsidized loans. Fossil fuels have ignored their environmental externalities (costs) shoved off on others for the longest time. These are both aged industries, not growing, nearly dead. Solar is the baby, growing rapidly. Give kids a chance!
Silver Spring, Md.