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The Koch Attack on Solar Energy

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At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels.

For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive.

Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, the Kochs and ALEC have made similar efforts in other states, though they were beaten back by solar advocates in Kansas and the surtax was reduced to $5 a month in Arizona.

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And rightly so! Solar energy does not stink in its production process!

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I remember the lines and gas buying on alternate days and so forth from '73 and even then they were trumpeting solar energy. That's been 40 years and still it isn't an affordable option for most. Now I see no reason to stand in the way of it's use but to think of it as a replacement isn't logical at this point. It's only natural for a company reaping huge profits to want to continue to do so but eventually a new technology or fuel source will change it all - the high prices will provide the incentive. Unless the evil emperor's Kochs take over the world first ;)

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well, Good! .. their fear and opposition are proof that the threshold has been crossed and the technology is now a success... and will only become more efficient.

(so will power consumption)

They may be able to make it profitless for small private producers.. but they can not render the technology useless nor keep it out of our hands.

what next... public electrocution of an Elephant by solar power ? (think Edison vs. alternating current)

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A veiled plug for Tesla there. Nice. Poor guy's too dead to collect on his genius though; and his income was alternating too.

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Solar energy is difficult to have -- you have a much lower electric bill and in a place like Ho Chi Minh City that is nice since your rate is based on your usage (use more pay higher rate). However, while the sales literature promised a ten year lifespan, that has not worked out and repairs averaged over a five year period (the time we have had it) has more than doubled what we would have paid from the power company.

One trusts that technology has advanced now to the point where this is not as much a problem, but, "once burned twice as shy." I would not make such an investment again until they are much more widespread and indeed most of the neighborhood has them. Being at the leading edge of technology, as they say, is also being at the cutting edge.

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Solar energy is difficult to have -- you have a much lower electric bill and in a place like Ho Chi Minh City that is nice since your rate is based on your usage (use more pay higher rate). However, while the sales literature promised a ten year lifespan, that has not worked out and repairs averaged over a five year period (the time we have had it) has more than doubled what we would have paid from the power company.

One trusts that technology has advanced now to the point where this is not as much a problem, but, "once burned twice as shy." I would not make such an investment again until they are much more widespread and indeed most of the neighborhood has them. Being at the leading edge of technology, as they say, is also being at the cutting edge.

I know solar installations that have worked for ten and more years without as much as a burned fuse. Generally it is with amateur installations that there are problems.

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I know solar installations that have worked for ten and more years without as much as a burned fuse. Generally it is with amateur installations that there are problems.

The energy crisis of the 70's caused a large uptake of solar thermal - the market expanded to quickly and the quality was rubbish. There were many problems and it destroyed the industry for 30years. Modern solar thermal is very good and typically will last 30years and save many thousands in utility bills.

Solar PV (photovoltaic) was hideously expensive back in the 1970's and only people who couldn't get mains electric went into it. The costs were always going to be higher than utility mains and the basic costs of batteries meant that it would never make a profit. however the basic solar cells never wear out unless the build is ****ty and the wires corrode. Modern Solar PV panels are at least a quarter of their 1970's cost and still falling. The sustainables obligation now means that most people can have solar PV without an expensive expendable battery bank and will make a profit after as little as 5 years after investment. The returns will be far better than any other investment possible other than property in a rising market.

This is why Koch is lobbying hard - the sensible money is now in renewables and every domestic installation cuts into his profits for an indefinite period and helps to make America more energy secure. Koch has no morals beyond the bottom line and cares not a jot about the future of the environment or the country. He is the very definition of a greedy capitalist scum bag. Fortunately his massive lobbying efforts are falling on deaf ears and the majority of the state legislators are not enacting his pre-packaged bills. These bills are a vote loser for state officials and they know this.

Br Cornelius

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