Letters to the Editor: Edison CEO on why California rooftop solar rules must change
I would like to respond to Dr. Kloepfer’s letter about the California’s net metering law and why it will have no effect on rooftop solar.
In his letter, Dr. Kloepfer suggests that because net metering is not at issue in the lawsuit, it has no place in his analysis of the lawsuit. I would respond by stating that net metering is indeed at issue in the lawsuit.
Net metering is an essential component of the net-zero energy mandate and is one of the major reasons it is implemented. It allows utilities to purchase energy from rooftop solar systems from the “net” of what those systems produce. It’s not perfect, nor is it going to be perfect. The problem is that the net metering system will not work in places that have an existing network of wind or solar farms. In those places, net metering will actually reduce net-zero energy production because existing utilities will be able to reduce the energy they buy from rooftop solar and replace it with another power purchase agreement. It’s a win-win for utilities and rooftop solar, but not for net-zero energy.
Why the net metering law is important is because the law is a major piece of the puzzle that will help us reach our goal of a zero-carbon economy. For utilities, it is a major way to make money and to save money. For customers, it is a way to reduce their dependence on the power grid (a lot of customers don’t have power from the grid), and it is how we can reduce the cost of energy for everyone.
By making it financially more attractive for utilities to buy renewable energy, they will have less incentive to put solar on the roofs of homes and businesses. As a result, more people with solar will be able to get the energy they need, saving money in the process.
But if net metering is not allowed in California due to the solar rooftop ruling, that means that the biggest threat to net zero is not the rooftop solar, it’s the utility companies and their desire to keep making lots of money from selling off fossil fuels. This is the real threat to creating a world