What war … you may say … everywhere you go there is more solar installations, bright orange and yellow lawn signs announcing new ones to come. And besides, didn’t we stop H4185? Yes, but there was a catch in the compromise bill S2214 that increased the Net Metering Cap a meager 1% private and 2% public, it called for a new Solar Task Force comprised of 17 members, 16 of which were supporters of H4185, and only 1 being an actual solar stakeholder (SEBANE). This Solar Task Force has met for the first time on Nov. 13th in Boston. Both John Ward and Claire Chang, MASOA members attended (read Claire’s report – click here). The bottom line is that there is likely going to be little support for future solar growth with utilities and so-called ratepayer [corporate fossil fuel] advocates looking to crush solar and renewables by incrementally removing incentives such as net metering and SRECs with the reasoning that renewables should be cost competitive with fossil fuels (who currently get four times more federal subsidies click here) in the best interest of the ratepayer when planning the state’s energy solutions. It will be up to grassroots groups and organizations, such as MASOA, to be on the side of protecting our environment and our children’s future by educating our legislators that we must invest in renewables today and convince our utilities to redraft their business models to become earth sustainable rather than just in the best financial interest of stockholders.
How can you help solar to continue to grow in Massachusetts? Join MASOA … it is simple, just click here, or the membership button above. You can be a solar owner, whether on your property, or part of a community solar farm, or you simply want clean solar energy to replace the 636,000 megawatts of fossil and nuclear fuel generation scheduled to be retired in the next ten years.
Certainly our legislators must have got the message that their constituents favor making the investment in renewables rather than replacing fossil fuel electric generation with other fossil fuels … that we have learned as Al Gore aptly stated in “inconvenient Truth” we have a choice between life, saving our environment or continuing to burn every barrel of oil, ton of coal and gallon of gas. The sad fact is if you believe that we will run out of fossil fuels before we have caused non-reversible environmental damage, I encourage you (and our legislators) to read Charles Mann’s Atlantic Monthly article (click here).
Perhaps the oddest behavior of humans is that they can understand rational facts presented by science … “we need to stop using fossil fuel now,” but rationalize counter-intuitive life style choices as inconvenient. Our last election is but one example. However, I have yet to see any solar installers adopt electric vehicles (although last week I saw a RGS gas/hybrid Prius), and in many cases you will find the business owner(s) have not invested in solar themselves. I must confess as MASOA’s secretary, that while I own solar PV, I did test drive a Nisson Leaf last week that I could fuel purely with solar power, and I do have a Prius for those very few trips over 85 miles, I have put off purchasing an all electric vehicle … not because I can’t afford it, but … (here is the rationalization) my wife is afraid of it … I don’t know anyone who owns one and likes it … I could go on. I guess my point is … can we save ourselves from ourselves?