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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Make Solar Cheap

Author: Reilly Capps/Friday, December 27, 2013/Categories: sustainability

Get out your checkbooks, pull some money out of savings, pull out your paper panhandling cup: we're almost certainly going to have to pay more for energy in the future.

There seems to be the delusion that we can get greener energy for less money -- that's almost certainly not going to be the case.

[Solar panels in California.]

Take net metering. This is the practice of putting solar panels up on your house and, by generating enough power, actually making your power meter run backward. Utilities are kvetching about this, whining that these sun-worshiping customers won't be paying enough for the upkeep of the electrical grid that they still occasionally use. The fossil-fuel burning customers will foot the bill. 

Guess what? Good. 

The public as a whole is going to have to step in and agree that green energy is a public good, in the same way that education, roads and parks are, and so we will have to set up systems to make greener energy more affordable than dirtier energy. That includes installing batteries to help store solar power, accepting that solar power producers are (sort of) competitors with utilities and letting sun-loving households skate on paying for upkeep on the grid. 


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