SEIA CEO Addresses Clean Power Plan and Net Metering Challenges - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Generation, Regulation, Solar  -  March 2, 2016

SEIA head talks Clean Power Plan, net metering with Bloomberg News

There’s been a lot of head scratching regarding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, but Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch is confident about solar power’s long-term growth trajectory. The trade association chief also weighed in on net-metering policy during a recent interview aired on Bloomberg TV. 

"We feel confident that the Clean Power Plan with finally be approved by the Appeals Court and will be put in place. It’s just on a year or year-and-a-half delay,” Resch said in the interview. "Any long-term growth that will be driven by the Clean Power Plan will still be in place.” 

States that chose not to continue working on their Clean Power Plan implementation plans could get stuck in a bind if and when the policy action begins taking hold, Resch added. 

"You still have 20 states who are going forward with the development of their state implementation plans,” he said. "Those states who aren’t, who decided we’re going to wait and see what happens, they’re going to get stuck with a federal implementation plan. I think most states would rather develop their own implementation [plan].”

Changing subjects, Resch also weighed in on the Nevada Public Utilities Commission’s recent vote to change net metering rules. The decision, he said, immediately increased prices for consumers, halted new projects and caused major solar installers to shut their Nevada businesses.

SEIA is fighting to get that ruling overturned, and Resch cited the state’s "excellent solar resources" along with customer demand for more favorable net metering policies as evidence for anticipated success in that fight.

"We as an industry are stepping up and we’re battling back,” Resch said. "Electricity customers … want to see more solar. They want to have the option for going solar, so we’re going to represent them even though the utilities aren’t listening to their own customers.”

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