How big is solar getting in the U.S.?
How about, it just got its own protest against obstacles to its continued growth.
It’s difficult to recall a similar campaign for oil, gas, or nuclear.
TUSK, a group backed by the solar industry, convened the demonstration Wednesday on the lawn of the Arizona Capitol to demand Gov. Jan Brewer repeal a new tax on homeowners leasing solar panels. Last month, the state’s Department of Revenue ruled anyone leasing was leasing a panel faced levies of up to $US152 starting this year.
The Arizona Republic’s Ryan Randazzo, who’s mastered coverage of the state’s solar fight, was told by a Brewer rep that there’s little chance this particular campaign would pay off: The governor will not override the department’s authority, and a bill to throw out the taxes hasn’t made it out of committee.
“Having failed to move their bill, TUSK is seeking an expedient political solution,” Andrew Wilder said.
Arizona’s main utility has argued solar customers are getting an unfair discount on their electricity statements. Nationwide, utilities are attempting to slow solar’s rapid growth, which has up-ended their business models. Barclays just downgraded the entire electric utility sector.
Solar groups have said they’d take the department’s ruling to court if they failed here.
Arizona now possesses 1,875 MW-worth of solar capacity, enough to power 262,500 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. GTM Research said the U.S. had the second-best quarter ever for solar installation ever in the first three months of 2014.