As one of Arizona’s premier roof top solar installers, G&S Electric Inc. is often confused and bewildered by what seems to be an attack against the progressive technology that will lead our country into an era of energy independence. It is challenging being one of the best community resources for solar energy, and see our state taking disincentive measures applied to the growing industry that was roof top solar. From the APS rate increase and additional fee approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission to the latest interpretation of Arizona Tax code by the Arizona Department of Disincentive Revenue, we have witnessed and rallied alongside prominent republicans and democrats alike to defend the once booming solar industry. APS’s own reports show an astounding 40% decrease in roof top solar applications. Last December, the Arizona Corporation Commission Chairmen Bob Stump tweeted that our factual based coverage of the debates and pending decline in solar industry growth a bunch of lies and misinformation. We would like to ask Arizona Corporation Commission Mr. Bob Stump, if he still feels there has been no damage to our local economy as a result of the increases he approved? Does Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Stump still feel our reporting is guided by lies and misinformation?
In our attempts to be rooftop solar experts that reported on both sides of the argument, we even wrote on the positive advances APS has taken in places like Flagstaff Arizona to build their own solar power stations. G&S Electric Inc. reported on the downsides of a grid responsible power company forced to deal with potential insolvency as a new generation of solar adopters see the clear choice in our clean energy independence future. There is a valid argument by the holding company that runs the biggest managing interest in the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant to ensure they retain enough income to withstand the transition to roof top solar power generation. However, G&S Electric Inc. has also stated that the knee jerk reactionary measures taken by big money interests like the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council demonstrate a demonstrative step that does less to create a smooth transition to the future of energy and is more geared toward mitigating the energy industry risks regarding distributed energy for investors as reported by the Edison Electric Institute.
The millions of dollars being spent to protect the interests of billion dollar investors is aimed at the individual citizen and small roof top solar leasing and installation companies that may not have the capital backing to adopt solar or maintain a profitable solar installation start-up. Rather than using the millions to off-set investor risk in a way that promotes the transition to solar, the funds are being used to slow the industry.
Industry giants may be able to slow the current pace of progress but when nations like Japan are looking to build solar farms in space and turn science fiction into reality, we know that the future of solar energy cannot be stopped. After suffering the impacts of nuclear reactor meltdowns, Japan is looking to have completed in 20 years a prototype of an orbital solar farm that could use microwaves to beam energy back to earth. While this technology is decades away from reality, the investment in the future possibilities is what keeps our industry exciting and invigorating. While the price tag to have a energy power station facility with this advanced technology is in the billions of dollars, the fact remains that the science required to create a working model still needs to be funded and researched. When nations take on these challenges it sends a message to old fossil fuel based energy giants that their days are indeed numbered. I doubt G&S Electric Inc. will be a part of solar energy farms in space, but in the mean time, back on the ground here at Earth, we will continue to fight for the solar power generating installations we are putting on roof tops all across Arizona, at Arizona State University, and on the tops of commercial parking shade structures all over the valley.