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Advancing Solar PV as a Viable Energy Alternative

August 12, 2015

Almost daily now, solar PV makes the headlines in our daily newspaper, The Des Moines Register.  Today's paper, for example, reports that an Iowa utility, Alliant Energy, has reversed a decision on customers' ability to sell their power produced by solar back to the grid.  This important position now allows net metering for rooftop power-generated systems financed by third party customers, according to Ryan Foley writing for the AP.  

The rise of renewable energy as a viable alternative to fossil fuels means that utility companies, customers, and green energy industries have decisions to make that few anticipated even 10 years ago.  Should I put solar on my own rooftop or persuade my neighborhood or community to create our own local utility?  Should we invest in American-made panels and components or go for the cheapest panels available?  Should we start demanding that our businesses, schools, churches and community centers make use of renewable energy when building new or remodeling, especially when our tax dollars are at work?  Should we pressure candidates running for office to make clear their stance on clean energy?

One decision is a no-brainer

Let's look to the wind industry for a moment: A Production Tax Credit that spurred the growth of wind energy was allowed to expire at the end of 2014, despite what Common Dreams sites as widespread support.  Meanwhile $135 billion in government-sponsored fossil fuel subsidies is projected over the next decade. Solar PV enjoys a similar credit, set to expire at the end of 2016. It has enabled businesses like Green Light Renewable Services to install millions of kilowatts of clean energy in homes and businesses in recent years, and it has allowed consumers to make choices that align with their values an affordable option.  

One very real possible consequence of the expiration of solar tax credits and rebates is the slowing or diminishing of these advances in energy alternatives.  The time to ask our legislators for action is NOW.

One action you can take right now

Support the EPA's new Clean Power Plan, which incentivizes states to adopt renewable energy initiatives.

 

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