Solar customers burned
Some of Kentucky Coal Association President Tyler White’s conclusions are questionable.
White states, “The overall policy of subsidies for renewables ... has had a severe impact on coal communities.” In his last bullet point, he says, “There are fewer than 1,000 private net metered customers in Kentucky out of more than 2.2 million utility customers.”
That is 0.00045 percent, and he says he does not count TVA customers. That’s a lot of coal those 1,000 are not allowing to be mined.
He writes that Germany’s investment in solar and wind energy represents 3 percent of Germany’s usage and that “the average German pays three times more for electricity than the average American.” I don’t have any information to argue with that.
He then claims that the use of renewables (which he calls “unreliables”) causes high electricity prices. I think high electricity prices would naturally lead to investment in renewable resources, which have had high up-front costs but are becoming less costly.
My opinion is that the utility companies are being subsidized by net-meter customers.
Control over market
In response to the Nov. 19 opinion piece by the president of the Kentucky Coal Association concerning House Bill 227, a bill that would gut the solar net metering program in Kentucky: It is worth noting that writer Tyler White failed to mention that Kentucky Utilities and other major utility companies are making their own investments in solar power production.
Don’t be fooled. The issue surrounding HB 227 is not about coal versus solar energy, it is about who will control the renewable energy market in the future. If utility monopolies are allowed to corner the market on solar, options for installing roof-top panels through local solar installers will be greatly compromised.
Why would our state legislators vote to support the giant utilities in crippling local businesses who provide much-needed jobs throughout our state?
Follow the money
There is no doubt that Rep. Jim Gooch and Tyler White are now members of the Bevin-Trump Liars Club. Gooch claims that House Bill 227 solves a “cost issue for all electric customers who choose not to install solar panels.”
That’s a lie. If residence A has no solar panels while residence B has solar panels and chooses to put electricity back on the grid, this transaction costs Residence A nothing. White says the grid is being maintained only by some. Residence B is paying a basic service charge of $10 or so a month, regardless of which way the current flows, or if there is no flow.
HB 227 is being pushed by unscrupulous industries and individuals to stamp out solar use by families so the utilities can be sure that any power you use in the future is supplied by them at a rate they determine.
And why would elected officials, who supposedly work in the citizens’ best interest, propose such a bill and lie about the rationale for it? Well, “follow the money,” as they say. For a starter, note that Gooch got a $2,000 donation from Alliance Coal.