Prior to working for a company that provides electric rate data to companies in the energy industry including utilities and solar energy providers, I had no idea that the sun, the energy grid and politics would share headlines and airtime in important conversations. But I have learned that each often appear alongside each other in articles and often come up in spirited conversations and debates.
As the price of solar panels continue to decrease (80% decrease in price since President Obama took office) and the heightened emphasis from politicians and policy makers to reduce the use of fossil rules and focus on climate change increase, I’m willing to bet these conversations will get more heated – pardon the pun.
I found the recent Rolling Stone article by Tim Dickinson, “The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power” interesting. The article mainly focused on the fight in Florida over solar power use between state solar supporters and investor owned utility supporters. The article caught my attention, because I recently shared news in one of my blogs that the utility industry had enlisted the help of a communications expert to help them rebrand themselves with their customers and identify opportunities to better communicate with them. The Rolling Stone article hits on some communication issues that the industry will continue to face. How does the utility industry keep consumers needs and desires out front and center while maintaining their ground on issues key to their business?
As we all know there are two sides (if not more) to every argument. I also found Rod Adams blog post and comment to the Rolling Stone article and have included here to help round out the story.
As summer approaches and the strain on the grid increases and we speedily approach the November elections – the sun, the grid and politics will continue to find themselves partners, at least, in conversations and headlines.