Michigan’s automakers, regulators and electric utilities are beginning to take steps in the right direction, but much more must be done to unlock the immense potential of the electric vehicle market today.
This week, a dozen businesses and trade associations sent a letter to Michigan lawmakers thanking them for increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and strengthening the Energy Optimization Standard.
For solar energy in Wisconsin, the last 24 months have been nothing short of electrifying. After the best-year-ever in 2015 led by installations on businesses and homes, 2016 started with a jolt when La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative committed to 14 large projects scattered across the full length of western Wisconsin. About half of these projects will be fully operational by the end of February, and the remainder before July. Projects by Alliant Energy, Bayfield Electric Cooperative and Madison Gas & Electric delivered the next pulse of sun-generated power. Their installations span the state from Iron River near Lake Superior in the north to Beloit by the Illinois border in the south. Large arrays placed on 16 Wisconsin stores owned by national retailer Target also contributed to the ongoing surge of solar generation.
A plan floated by Minnesota lawmakers to exempt rural electric cooperatives from virtually all regulatory oversight would allow these utilities to restrict development of local solar power, even where their member-owners support renewable energy. Legislation introduced last month and working its way through the state’s House (HF234) and Senate (SF141) would put co-op boards themselves, rather than the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in charge of resolving customer disputes over rates and other policies. Disguised as “local control,” the measure undermines the objective role of the Commission as a mediator between cooperatives and their members. Co-ops provide electricity across greater Minnesota, and have in recent years come under fire as sharp opponents of distributed solar generation. Customer have complained about outsize fees for having rooftop solar – sometimes masked as other charges, like for a new meter.
This morning, the sun rose all across the United States of America, as it has every day since Election Day. We are no doubt a changed nation. The coming days and weeks will begin to show the depths and direction of that change. But today, the sun is generating power – clean, cost-effective power, thanks to solar PV projects on rooftops and fields in communities across America. The economics of solar and energy efficiency remain as strong today as they did before Election Day.
A recent analysis of the 2022-2025 national fuel-economy standards has us shaking our heads.
Whether purchasing a Tesla is in their future or not, consumers should have the option to make that choice based on their values, needs, and budget, unencumbered by government interference.
Ever notice how sometimes you can stare at a puzzle for a long time and never notice the obvious piece that puts everything in perspective? Well, that’s been happening with all the arguments about the value of consumer generated electricity, and especially rooftop solar.
While the United States of America is the most powerful nation in the world, many of our young men and women in uniform will argue that we are still not free of control by a distant ruler. The modern oppressor we face today is oil.
To usher in a new era of local, clean and equitable energy, supporting solar needs to be a national priority and the Midwest is well positioned to take the lead.
In the Midwest, young conservatives are finding common ground on clean energy with some old political hands.