Arizona Commissioner: Solar Energy Incentives a “Monster”

Gary Pierce insists he’s a “friend of solar.” Recent actions by the Arizona Corporation Commissioner to cut solar incentives in Arizona, however, make that claim…let’s just say: “questionable.”

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce

Exhibit A: Check out the video below in which Pierce calls the state’s performance-based incentive for renewable power, “a monster” that needs to be tamed.

Pierce offered an amendment last week to lower the amount of renewable power utilities would have to generate — a move that the industry says would “cut them off at the knees,” leading to cancelled projects, slower growth, and lost jobs.


Just imagine the policies Pierce would support if he were an enemy of solar.

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4 thoughts on “Arizona Commissioner: Solar Energy Incentives a “Monster”

  1. I agree, but we all need to acknowledge that adding Solar to their property is an asset which could improve the future value of their residence if / when they make a choice to sell. With the environment the way it is going we are unable to underestimate any product that gives no cost power at no cost to both the buyer and more importantly the earth!

  2. It is rare that one praises an elected official, but that’s what I aim to do. In fact, I want to laud an entire panel of officials. The Arizona Corporation Commission has generated a lot of news lately about its recent decisions involving the renewable energy implementation plans for Arizona’s utilities. The ACC’s decision to lower incentives for residential solar incentives and eliminate long-term funding for commercial solar incentives has generated criticism from certain members of the solar industry. In fact, the ACC did a good thing by saving ratepayers a lot of money.

    The solar industry has been dependent on subsidies since the Renewable Energy Standard rules were enacted in 2007. Every year they have told the ACC that they are “almost” at grid parity but need ratepayer-funded incentives for just one more year. The ACC’s commissioners said last week that TEP customers are already on the hook for $100 million in lifetime costs. How much more money must we spend to prop up an industry?

    Well, the gravy train stopped rolling this year. Thanks to Bob Stump, Gary Pierce, Brenda Burns, Susan Bitter-Smith and Bob Burns solar subsidies for large corporations solar installations have been eliminated. Subsidies for residential incentives are slated to disappear next year. I applaud the commissioners for obeying their duties and looking out for pocketbooks. It’s about time the solar industry take care of itself.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’ve never heard the solar industry claim that it needed “just one more year” of incentives. Individual advocates may have made that claim (though I’ve never heard it), but the Solar Energy Industry Association is the only national solar trade group and I’m unaware of SEIA saying that. More to the point, every major source of energy — from nuclear to fossil fuels — receives hefty government subsidies totaling billions of dollars. This doesn’t included costs like global warming and premature deaths (13,000/year in the U.S.) from particulates released when coal is burned to generate electricity. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis shows that renewable sources such as solar and wind are a bargain.

  3. Renewable energy pays.

    Dirty energy costs.

    In more than cash now and generations from now.

    But wait. . . . .dirty energy destroys futures, also.

    Now decide.

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