Duke Energy announces a new $500 Million investment in solar energy production to meet the state mandates for energy from renewable sources.  It has plans to build new solar farms in Richmond, Scotland, Duplin, Cleveland, Wilson and Beaufort counties.

Meanwhile over in Granville County, county commissioners, the county manager and the planning board are considering outlawing solar farms altogether.  Seems there are concerns about the solar farms “industrial” appearance.  Other communities are concerned about bird incineration.

The 2007 mandate that is encouraging all these solar farms included allowing Duke to pass on the additional costs of using renewable sources like solar to guess who?  Customers like me and you and small businesses and taxpayers who are paying state government’s utility bill.

The cost and efficiency is the real concern. When the cost of energy goes up, the cost of everything goes up.   And that affects our economy, jobs, businesses and taxpayers. Mandates that require using more expensive energy sources are bad public policy.

Although the General Assembly recently considered repealing the renewable mandate, it will be a tough fight.  But it’s a fight worth fighting.