Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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letter to the editor:

How solar can help us and NV Energy

A recent article said the Public Utilities Commission may be considering whether homes with solar power are paying their fair share (whatever that means).

Some states are downright hostile to solar homes because of vested interest in fossil fuels.

In Kansas, the Legislature recently tried to put limits on renewable energy. However, the governor sided with the many farmers who have wind power on their farms.

In Southern Nevada, we are blessed with sunshine. NV Energy is not unfriendly toward solar homes, but the company may begin to worry about the so-called death spiral whereby there are too many solar homes.

NV Energy will be closing coal plants and replacing them with some natural gas units and solar farms. This is a step forward, but with all the sunshine we have, we can do better.

Since climate change is forcing us to move to renewable resources, we (and especially the PUC) should encourage more solar homes, not increase their cost of ownership.

NRG Energy, a major Texas utility, is now in the business of installing solar systems. It also operates a network of electric-car charging stations. NRG Energy wants to evolve beyond its traditional generation-and-distribution model.

If NV Energy installs and leases such systems, residents will have solar power, which will be cleaner and may be priced somewhat lower than their existing costs, and there will be more jobs for our workers. NV Energy would not have to worry about the death spiral because it will have continuing income from the solar systems, and Earth will be rid of much of the carbon dioxide spewed out by fossil-fuel plants.

Of course, until we have an efficient way to store electricity, we still will want to partner with NV Energy, which, under this process, would be using fewer fossil fuels.

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