Friday, May 27, 2016

Beware of entrenched energy interests fighting solar: They're not telling the truth

Some states may be making a big mistake about rooftop solar

By Chelsea Harvey May 26, Washington Post

Rooftop solar installations are a fast-growing part of the booming U.S. solar sector, which some experts say is poised to experience its biggest year yet. But while the industry’s rapid expansion is considered a clear win for the climate, it hasn’t come without backlash.

Utility companies across the country have begun to raise concerns that the rates and credits given to homeowners with rooftop solar installations — which commonly include payments for any excess power they generate and send back to the grid — may actually be transferring costs back to non-solar customers and the utilities that maintain the electric grid. And they’re pushing for the system to be changed.

But now, new research suggests this is an empty concern. A paper published Monday by researchers from the Brookings Institution reviews a number of studies conducted by state utility commissions, academic institutes and think tanks and suggests that rooftop solar actually benefits all consumers — whether they’re solar customers or not.

(More here.)

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