Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Solar Energy Is for Everyone

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Solar Energy Is for Everyone

Article excerpt

The solar industry is helping America move "full speed ahead" toward a cleaner, more distributed energy system. That much Monica Martinez got correct in her Nov. 15 op-ed ("Solar Energy's Dirty Secret," Forum). However, contrary to her assertion, solar benefits all Americans, of all income levels.

As with any new technology, early adopters of solar tended to have higher incomes, and there has been evidence of what some have called a "green divide." But as solar prices have plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last decade, multiple reports outline how rooftop solar systems are overwhelmingly adopted in middle-class neighborhoods with median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000.

Though sometimes mischaracterized as a "subsidy," the net metering policies under which most rooftop solar customers are billed is simply a compensation mechanism that recognizes that clean energy - produced near the site where it's consumed and primarily during expensive peak hours - is more valuable than generic "brown" power. …

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