Readers React: Solar energy in California: We’ll never go to war to take another country’s sunshine

California’s Energy Commission To Vote On Solar Panel Mandate For New Homes
Workers install a solar system on the roof of a home in San Francisco on May 9, 2018.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: An entrenched minority says climate change is cyclical and not anthropogenic. Even if you agree with that, there are cogent, compelling reasons for California to require all new single-family homes to have solar panels. (“Of course California should require solar panels on new homes,” Editorial, May 11)

Owners of houses that generate their own electricity can take care of themselves much better after a major natural disaster, when first responders and the utilities are overwhelmed. Renewable energy creates jobs that happen to be less dangerous than those in fossil fuel extraction and refinement.

Also, California can generate revenue by becoming an exporter of clean fuel. And I have yet to hear of our soldiers going overseas to ensure that we get enough sunlight.

Although the costs of new homes will go up, the state could mitigate that through the support of favorable financing. Already, solar installations are exempt from property-tax assessment, yet they add to a house’s market value.


Van Ajemian, Montebello


To the editor: While the reduction in fossil fuel use is important, forcing all new homes to have solar panels could be the wrong step. A better approach would be the fee-and-dividend plan, which would reduce fossil carbon use without stating how the changes come.

Each person or business would be free to find the best way to provide needed energy at the lowest cost. In many cases, improved passive solar design and insulation might reduce fossil carbon use more than solar panels. Also, solar water heaters could be a better choice for some.


Kadence Martin, Huntington Beach


To the editor: It is foolhardy of the state to require new homes be built with solar panels when we currently don’t have enough storage facilities to hold the solar power we already produce.

Last year, we paid Arizona to take the excess solar energy we generated. Yes, paid! It is the typical cart pulling the horse.

I can only imagine how delighted Arizona residents will be once this regulation takes effect in California and we’re once again paying them to take all that solar energy.

Karen Mack, Costa Mesa


To the editor: I wish the California Energy Commission would approve a similar mandate for commercial properties.Get in a plane and you can see lots of choice real estate atop warehouses, manufacturing facilities, office buildings and so forth just waiting for panels.


Chuck Petithomme, Burbank

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