Hello all, I don’t often solicit through emails for donations (I think this is the 3rd time in 20 years) but I feel this is a worthy cause, not just for the industry that I represent (solar), but for our future and the future of our children. The Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) is a non-profit trade association that advocates on behalf of its members (solar businesses, environmental organizations, private citizens) to open the market for solar energy in our region. Donations support MDV-SEIA’s advocacy work in the region. By donating to our organization, you’re helping to support the regional solar industry! ….and you could win a Tesla!
We are waging a battle right now to determine how we generate and use the energy required to power our society, a battle for the most part fought between the large investor owned regulated utility monopolies, with the backing of the fossil fuel industry, and free enterprise renewable energy and energy efficiency. This battle has never been as fierce as it is right now and the stakes have never been as high. Although there is debate as to the time we have left, there can be no debate that our carbon based fuel supply is running out and we must use what we have left to build a non-carbon based energy infrastructure over the next 50-60 years.
It is common knowledge that the fossil fuel industry has received Federal and State subsidies in the US in the amount of over $600 billion over the past 60 years. In 2013 alone, this amount was estimated to be over $20 billion in subsidies for oil, gas, and coal exploration and production. Since The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed into law creating a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) for commercial and residential solar energy systems, an estimated $66 billion has invested in solar in the US, with $20 billion in Federal tax credits issued, or an average of $2 billion per year. Although this does not include state grants, tax credits, and very small utility rate increases due to state mandated renewable energy requirements, the total amount for incentives paid for renewables is still a fraction of that provided to the fossil fuel industry. This 30% Federal ITC is scheduled to be reduced to 10% at the end of 2016 and it is one of the main causes of our industry to have this extended and create a workable schedule to phase this out.
The main reason these incentives are required is to allow renewables to compete with utilities on a level playing field. Due to the monopoly status of utilities in 2/3 of the states, and the roadblocks state and federal regulations place preventing customer access, creating high customer acquisition costs, and deterring economies of scale for the private developers, the cost to our customers can be twice what it should be. A few states have more favorable “net metering” rules, but there are still many barriers to a free market. If this concerns you, and you want the security, resiliency, and low cost option that renewables and energy efficiency can provide toward our energy independence and generation solution in the future, please consider donating to our association so we can continue our advocacy efforts on the state and national level…. and maybe win a Tesla! Thank you.