In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility's view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar energy.
The electric utility is at a crossroads. Facing flat electricity demand and a sudden insurgent campaign from rooftop solar, the large, centralized utility company is entering a new era. The smarter utilities are moving with the tide rather than fighting it.
Most adventuresome new car buyers are skipping electric cars for now and buying another gas-powered vehicle to tide them over until the problems of range and public charging are solved. Clearly, the EV charging market requires standards.
Exelon's brazenly dishonest campaign against wind and other renewables has outraged environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups. But it also has aroused the ire of some of its own industry fraternity members.
The Commission voted to value solar above the retail rate, and to allow solar customers to receive compensation at that rate for the power they produce. It may sound like a sweet deal for solar, but the reality is that VOSTs are a major red flag.
A different approach to quantifying the very real value of going solar would be wise. At the very least, solar companies should jettison the practice of using past rate increases to predict the future, something that is far too common these days.
Collectively, the power industry sucks in approximately 80 trillion gallons of water annually to cool their equipment. In the process, they kill on a massive scale fish, larvae and other aquatic organisms.