New York Times Review of Koch Response to Solar Power

New York Times Review of Koch Response to Solar Power

Source: New York Times The Editorial Board APRIL 26, 2014 At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels. For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, the Kochs and ALEC have made similar efforts in other states, though they were beaten back by solar advocates in Kansas and the surtax was reduced to $5 a month in Arizona. But the Big Carbon advocates aren’t giving up. The same group is trying to repeal or freeze Ohio’s requirement that 12.5 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Twenty-nine states have established similar standards that call for 10 percent or more in renewable power. These states can now anticipate well-financed campaigns to eliminate these targets or scale them back. The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to...
WSJ: Watts a Solar Panel Worth?

WSJ: Watts a Solar Panel Worth?

by Sanette Tanaka Writter -Wall Street Journal …. But the bigger premium may come at sale time: New research finds that home with photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for an average $24,705 more for a typical 3.1 kilowatt system than home without PV systems, says lead author Ben Hoen. ….Only recently have homeowners embraced photovoltaic systems as means to power their homes, Mr. Hoen says. Roughly 32% of total PV systems in the U.S. were added in 2013 alone, spurred by technology improvements and aggressive promotion by states, according to the solar energy association. Read more online. Source: Wall Street...