Why Aren’t We Using Rooftop Solar Panels?

Why Aren’t We Using Rooftop Solar Panels?

Letters to the Editor: Edison CEO on why California rooftop solar rules must change.

California’s rules for the rooftop solar industry is a good start. But that’s not enough and you need a change in how we use energy and how we are thinking about the environment to make it work.

Why is it that we have solar panels on top of our houses when the best technology available, photovoltaic, can make electricity anywhere in the world for a fraction of the price.

In an article about how the public should be able to have solar panels on their houses, Ed Begley Jr. talks about rooftop solar power as a solution to California’s energy crisis.

But Ed’s article is a good start and what he says is just as important. Yet he doesn’t make the case that the public needs to be able to have rooftop solar panels anywhere in the state, whether on homes or businesses and even on cars.

The reason we don’t have rooftop solar panels across the state is not due to a shortage of demand. If we used rooftop solar panels like Ed says then we could reduce our energy consumption by more than 1 billion kilocalories each year, bringing energy consumption back down to what it was in 2005, and generating about 3.5 times as much wealth this way as we do now.

Ed makes the case that rooftop solar panels would make California more competitive in the energy marketplace and we would be producing more solar energy for less money than we are now.

But why aren’t rooftop solar panels being used like Ed says we should be? Why aren’t they being used at the rate Ed says we need to get there? And what can we do to get around the problem of not providing the supply to match the demand?

Let’s take a look at each of these questions.

Rooftop Solar Poses an Environmental Problem

I have been a solar electricity contractor for over a decade, and I

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