by Jeff Shaw
Why hasn't solar power caught on in Louisiana? Are we that backwards of a state? Are we different than other states?
We have an abundance of sunshine so that's not it. We are fairly close to the equator so that's not it either. We have universities churning out educated people so there is no lack of knowledge. We even have neighbors to our west (Texas) that are active in solar power to guide us but we just can't get going.
First let's look at the incentives for using solar power from the State of Louisiana . Zero, zip, nothing. That's right! There are none. Take a look at the incentives that other states have. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (pdf) There are only 12 states that do not offer incentives and we are among these. Even Mississippi at least offers loans for the purchase of RE equipment.
Next let's look at the laws on "Net Metering". Net Metering allows the consumer to install small grid-connected RE systems to reduce their electric bills. This allows excess electricity produced by the RE system to be returned to the grid using the existing electric meter. The advantage to net metering is the ability to produce and use RE without storing excesses in expensive batteries. To insure safety new inverters comply with the National Electric Code (NEC) and all nationally recognized codes and standards. Here is a list of the states that have net metering. States with net metering (pdf) There are 30 states that allow net metering and Louisiana is not one of them. Surprised?
So what can we do? The Louisiana Solar Energy Society members can contact their individual state representatives with this information and encourage them to pass the necessary legislation.
- Thanks Rep. Daniel for getting Net Metering passed in LA!