Readers React: Does it matter if a dirty company gets the credit for your rooftop solar?

To the editor: Severin Borenstein argues that if my solar panel provider sells its Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to a fossil fuel producer, I don’t deserve the “energy halo.” I disagree. Borenstein is conflating the mechanics of generating renewable energy with the mechanics of an incentive to facilitate it. (“Smug about your solar roof? Not so fast,” Opinion, Jan. 20)

If I install solar panels, I should get credit (not a halo) for initiating a cycle that reduces fossil fuel generation. If energy producers chooses to pay for RECs instead of actually reducing fossil fuel production, they should get a different kind of credit.

Consider baseball statistics: Credit goes both to who scores runs and to the players who bat them in, but runs are not double counted.

I got on base with solar panels, and I’ll take credit. If more of us don’t get on base, fossil fuel producers won’t have clean energy RBIs, and our air quality loses.


Edward Dignan, Long Beach 

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