Nevada’s solar energy market is growing more chaotic

May 17, 2016 0 By Alicia Moore

Cut subsidies lead to controversy throughout the solar energy market

Solar energy in Nevada suffered a grievous blow recently, with the state deciding to make drastic cuts to subsidies, effectively cutting off support for the solar market. Concerns regarding this move are now coming under fire, with one of the state’s largest groups backed by utilities casting doubt on worries issued by consumers, developers, and prominent public figures. Solar Energy Fairness, which is supported by NV Energy, one of the state’s major utilities, has begun airing an ad that suggests consumers may have been tricked into believing that cutting solar subsidies was a bad move.

Solar Energy Fairness launches new ad to raise awareness of issues concerning government subsidies

The ad suggests that “big rooftop solar,” an industry supposedly controlled by major solar energy developers, is attempting to convince consumers to support a “government-mandated subsidy that has no limit.” The advertisement claims that solar developers are pushing for homeowners without solar power systems to pay more for the electricity they use in order to fun solar subsidies. This issue has caught the attention of many people, including actor Mark Ruffalo and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Net metering had served as an effective incentive to encourage the adoption of solar power

Solar Energy Market grows more chaoticThe subsidies that Solar Energy Fairness believes are controversial are tied to Nevada’s net metering program. The program allows homeowners to install solar panels on their properties and ensures that they can sell surplus electrical power back to utilities. This program has been in place for quite a long while, having first been launched in 1997. Critics of net metering have noted, however, that solar customers have an unfair financial advantage over those not using solar energy systems. This is due to the fact that non-solar customers tend to pay more for the electrical power they consume.

Solar developers seek to reverse cut subsidies in order to improve state’s solar energy market

When the state decided to cut subsidies for the solar energy market, many solar developers opted to leave Nevada en masse. Some of these companies are fighting to reverse the subsidy cut, but whether or not they will be successful is unclear. Nevada had once been home to a thriving solar energy market, but has since become a solar “wasteland” wherein developers see little incentive to participate in the market.