If you’ve been following solar industry news, you’re familiar with reports of some in the industry cozying up to monopoly utilities while continuing to paint themselves as solar champions. They rationalize this apparent paradox by using the same messaging we see in happy-feel-good TV ads from the utilities themselves: “We’re working hard to make our energy grid more sustainable and more affordable.”
Of course, that’s a bald-faced lie. In reality, the utilities invest what amounts to pocket lint in renewable energy and simultaneously work to crush solar-friendly policies from California to South Carolina and stomp out the solar companies who threaten their bottom line. And instead of standing with these companies — not to mention consumers — some self-styled “leaders” of the solar movement are betting their futures on the utility industry to win the war.
This dynamic piqued my interest thanks to a rapidly-spreading pledge that the folks at web-based news aggregator SolarWakeup.com posted last week:
The Solar Pledge calls for the advancement of fair and open policies for distributed solar energy generation. Please consider signing the pledge and ask your colleagues to do the same, together we stand for distributed solar.
Pledge to support full retail rate net-metering and open markets that do not provide participants with anti-competitive advantages
Pledge to support and advocate for the long term extension of the 30% solar investment tax credit