by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Weaksauce whining from an industry supposedly as strong as NC’s solar. Complaints like these underscore that solar’s business model is proud to be entirely dependent upon government support (what the Taxpayer Protection Alliance calls solar’s “Subsidy-Based Business Model“). From the Charlotte Observer:
The measure “dramatically disrupts the investment and jobs created that we’ve seen as a result” of the standards, said [North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association] governmental affairs director Betsy McCorkle. “This bill just sends shock waves to those communities and makes those investors think twice about investing in North Carolina.”
That comment is in reaction to the mere introduction of a bill that would cap NC’s renewable energy portfolio standards (REPS) mandate at its present, higher requirement, then sunset it in 2018.
The bill would also require all sources of electricity generation, including solar and other renewable sources, to be options for utilities in filling their needs for reliable, sufficient power provision.
The main thing the bill would do is refocus North Carolina on a policy of ensuring least-cost, reliable electricity to its citizens, who remember are given no choice in electric utilities.
What, then, could be the problem with asking solar to compete in the near future? Unless solar lobbyists know it can’t compete and can’t survive without purchase mandates on utilities, state and federal tax incentives, government grants, etc.