Solar industry favors incentive reductions

A middle-ground solution is warranted

The CommonWealth Back Story on Thursday (“Listen to what’s not said about solar” by Bruce Mohl) sheds important light on the heated debate over net metering and the fate of the solar industry in the Commonwealth. Mohl sets the record straight on the inflated claims made by their utilities (and their proxies, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts) regarding the cost of solar incentives, particularly as their tally ignores the enormous benefits these investments in solar energy bring to the environment and local economy.

Indeed, the legislatively mandated Net Metering and Solar Task Force report, on which both I and representatives of AIM and Massachusetts’ two largest investor-owned utilities sat, found that these benefits exceeded costs by a factor of nearly 3 to 1.

Meet the Author

Fred Zalcman

Managing director, external relations, SunEdison
But Mohl’s piece misses the mark on one important point. Contrary to his suggestion that the industry is steadfast against further reductions in incentives, our companies, representing an industry now 15,000 workers strong, have openly and repeatedly embraced reform. We continue to urge lawmakers to find a middle-ground solution, reducing the overall ratepayer contribution while allowing the solar industry to move forward.

Fred Zalcman is managing director of external relations at SunEdison in Boston.