They will especially appreciate Millis’ call for studying the actual subsidies and incentives renewable energy producers receive, as well as capping the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS) mandates until we have a better idea of what they’re doing to ratepayers.
But they all agree, however, on something. What?
Here’s a hint:
- “…the ballyhooed ‘success’ of solar energy in North Carolina is heavily dependent upon public policies, state and federal.”
- “The good deal [the State of] North Carolina has given the renewable industry, rather than our abundant sunshine, has led to its growth.”
- The renewable energy industry relies entirely on a “subsidy-based business model.”
Or put it in terms used in its March 2017 “Clean Energy Storyteller,” in which the NC Sustainable Energy Association made a fundraising plea. It began:
With 2.4 gigawatts (GW) and growing, North Carolina is now second in the nation for installed solar capacity. The majority of this capacity is from statewide utility-scale solar projects. These projects serve as a clean generation resource, help electric utilities meet customer demand, and offset the need to build the next power plant.
Much of the utility-scale solar industry’s success can be attributed to our state’s strong clean energy policies, such as favorable contracts and rates paid to these facilities for the energy and generation capacity they provide.
The terms of these contracts and rates are set by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) every two years in “avoided cost” proceedings, where stakeholders like NCSEA can continue to advocate for fair rates.
For more details, see this post on “Unsustainable energy, illustrated.”
Bonus: Why are the state’s top stakeholders never treated as “stakeholders”?