1. There is no guarantee energy costs would be lower without the renewable mandates. Over time, costs go up, not down.
2. Access to renewables has put off the need to build new power plants, thus keeping costs lower than they would be as the costs of new plants are paid for by the consumer. The cost of renewable energy may be higher than the cost of standard energy, but the cost of new power plants is much, much higher than the cost of a solar farm.
Solar energy has created 23,000 jobs in North Carolina. Cut the mandates and lose jobs. And this General Assembly is all about jobs.
3. Our current system, using coal, hydroelectric, and gas to create electricity could not have come to exist without government support. In the early days of electrical energy it was government incentives that helped the industry grow and thrive. Without government requirements, it is possible that electricity would not be as ubiquitous as it is today.
4. It was the government sponsored Rural Electrification Program that brought electricity to every farm in America. Government needed to incentivize this because of the profit motive; there was no return on investment for private companies to run power lines for many miles to reach one customer, just as today there is no return on investment for TimeWarner and Comcast to run long cable lines to remote areas of the state. Without government ‘intrusion’ many in the US could still be without power.
5. Government allowed power companies to operate as a monopoly. In return, the industry agreed to abide by government rules and regulations, including approval of rate hikes. This is not an intrusion into a private company’s profits, but a protection of citizens from corporate greed. And government has an obligation to protect its citizens.
6. Solar farms generate income for private individuals, as well as organized companies and corporations. Solar farms increase property values and generate more property taxes for county governments. There is a big solar farm in Rutherford County and the owners commented that leasing their land for solar panels makes more money for them than raising cattle. Their farm alone will power 300-350 homes.
7. This is a case where what worked for the past, government aid in the creation of industry and jobs, will work for the future.
To quote The Carolina Journal on renewables:
The sobering reality is that Big Solar’s day in the sun simply isn’t possible, nor is it economically sustainable, without continuous diversions of tax money, government assistance, energy portfolio carve-outs, and utility cost shifting schemes – all aimed at creating a “market” for solar that it can’t establish on its own.
From my point of view, "the sobering reality is that" our current electrical system "would not have been possible, or economically sustainable, without continuous diversions of tax money, government asistance, energy portfolio carve-outs, and utility cost shifting schemes--all aimed at creating a ‘market’ for" electricity "that it could not have established on its own."
What goes around, comes around.
On point 6, it's not really either/or- or it does not have to be
"... leasing their land for solar panels makes more money for them than raising cattle." In the oldest solar farm in Person County, sheep graze under the panels so that no mowing is needed. So the land is generating solar energy AND grazing livestock -- probably fewer sheep than would be in an open field, but still.... The panels might need to be elevated a little more to graze cattle in there - I don't know. Sheep are easy keepers so maybe that's why they are there.
I mow with sheep. And recommend it to anyone that has the acreage and ability. You do have to be able to deal with poop in the yard - just think of it as fertilizer - and they are not very selective at trimming the shrubbery.
Forgot to add -
I detest these anti-solar crusaders.
Call them out on it. Every
Call them out on it. Every time.
Solar Jobs > Auto Jobs
23,000 jobs. That's the bottom line. How much money was NC willing to spend to attract Volvo and their 2,000 jobs?
Solar is the equivalent of muliple auto plants and they are just getting started. Home-based solar is only a tiny share of what it could be with continued support and unlike an auto plant that would only benefit the county where it's built and a few around it, solar benefits all 100 counties with tax revenue and jobs.
About that "market" for Solar
What Art Pope's Puppets will never tell their readers is that a supermajority of American citizens support developing Solar PV as a mainstay in our power mix, and have supported it since the early days of NASA where it was proven to be the *only* reliable and long-lasting source of power for satellites and space stations.
The only drawback was the cost, and the only way to bring that cost down is through volume production of Solar panels. And the only way to make that happen was to incentivize the process and require a percentage. And it's working, which pisses off the Civitas'ers even more, because the cost difference between Solar and fossil fuel sources has been narrowing every year, and will soon be in parity (or even less expensive, when all costs are calculated, including pollution).
They are desperate to stop this wildly successful transformation, even if it means lying more than they usually do. And that's both sad and shameful.
Right on! Steve!
Right on! Steve!