"No One Will Want Solar": California Cuts Rooftop Solar Subsidies In Blow To 'Green' Industry   

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Nov 17, 2023 - 10:20 PM

Roughly seven months after screwing over California homeowners with a 75% reduction in rates paid for energy fed back to the grid, the golden state is also screwing over apartment owners, farms, and schools, Bloomberg reports.

In a unanimous vote on Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday, with a 5-0 vote, those who wish to install solar power on schools, apartment buildings, and farms will also receive less credits for exporting power to the grid. This adds to the challenges the solar industry faces, which has already struggled with high-interest rates and sliding demand.

Under the new rules, the aforementioned categories, as well as commercial strips and other facilities where more than one electric meter is on the same site, will receive less money from utilities in exchange for excess solar produced.

"This (new rule) forces them to sell low and buy high," Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, told local paper CalMatters, warning, "No one is going to go solar under that setup."

Solar electric panels on the roof of the Hanover Olympic building, the first building to offer individual solar-powered net-zero apartments in Los Angeles, on June 6, 2017. Photo by Mike Blake, Reuters

The decision will hurt new solar development and could result in future layoffs. It adds more pressure to the solar industry, struggling with sliding sales and high-interest rates that have made rooftop solar systems less affordable. 

The decision is a setback for solar companies struggling with sagging sales as higher interest rates make consumers less willing to finance rooftop solar systems. In addition, California — the biggest solar market — slashed incentives for house installations in April to make sure the costs to run utility grids are shared fairly.

That move has proved devastating for the state’s rooftop solar industry, said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association. The trade group said its members reported an 80% drop in sales since the decision and anticipates a loss of about 20% of California’s solar jobs by early next year. -Bloomberg

SunPower Corp., Sunnova Energy International Inc., Enphase Energy Inc., and SolarEdge Technologies Inc. are some of the largest solar companies operating in California. Shares in these companies have crashed this year. 

And just how does California plan to eradicate fossil fuels with 'green energy' to meet 100% carbon-free electricity targets by 2045 if it was disincentivized new solar development?