SC Supports Solar

PALMETTO STATE SURVEY FINDS HUGE SUPPORT FOR CLEAN ENERGY ALTERNATIVE … By FITSNEWS || We’re all for the domestic energy revolution taking place in America right now.   As we’ve noted on numerous prior occasions, our energy policy is pretty simple:  We support whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest possible cost for…


By FITSNEWS || We’re all for the domestic energy revolution taking place in America right now.   As we’ve noted on numerous prior occasions, our energy policy is pretty simple:  We support whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest possible cost for the consumer.  

Yet as we unapologetically support more drilling for oil and gas, we believe the sooner America can transition to renewable, sustainable sources of energy – the better.  And while there will always be debate as to the best way to accomplish this objective (we favor market-based reforms as opposed to top-down government intervention), it’s hard to argue with the benefits of such a shift – whether you’re a radical environmentalist or a Bible-toting fundamentalist.

Clean energy isn’t just a “Mother Earth” thing, you see, it’s in keeping with the Biblical notion of stewardship.  Also, while we believe energy providers should go after every available drop of oil and gas – at the end of the day there’s only so much “energy independence” to be obtained through fossil fuels.

Therefore it’s not surprising to see that support for alternative energy sources – including solar power – is getting stronger, even in the buckle of the Bible Belt.  In fact according to a new survey of South Carolinians conducted by Wenzel Strategies, 73 percent of respondents said they wanted to see “more solar power” used in the Palmetto state.

Meanwhile 78 percent of South Carolinians said they support the “development of clean energy resources like wind and solar.”

Those are strong numbers – in fact they dwarfed support for increased production of nuclear energy (32 percent) and coal (18 percent).

Perhaps most importantly, South Carolinians don’t want to be penalized for choosing renewable energy sources.  A whopping 92 percent of survey respondents said consumers who invest in rooftop solar panels, for example, shouldn’t be forced to pay additional fees to their power companies after installing these systems.

“What is clear from our survey is that consumers are excited about the possibilities of renewable energy in South Carolina – especially solar power,” pollsters Fritz and PJ Wenzel wrote in discussing the poll results. “South Carolina consumers view rooftop solar as an important part of providing choice and competition when it comes to electricity.”

They are also skeptical of utility companies “due to repeated rate hikes” – when asked about SCANA’s seven rate increases in the last five years, 70 percent of respondents indicated a less favorable opinion of the prominent in-state utility.

The survey – conducted for the group Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed (TUSK) – is an important reminder not only to state policymakers (who recently approved legislation permitting third parties to lease solar systems) but also the 2016 presidential candidates already making their way to the early-voting Palmetto State.

Since 2010, solar installations in the United States have climbed six-fold – from 2,000 to 12,000 megawatts worth of capacity.  Meanwhile the cost of installing the systems continues to plummet.  As barriers to entry shrink, more consumers will be seeking to install these systems – particularly given recent estimates showing how solar systems could save Palmetto State households nearly $115 per month on their energy bills.

Given that South Carolina income levels are currently scraping the bottom of the barrel, that’s money that could make a real difference in revitalizing the state’s consumer economy.

“We can’t let solar energy – and all its advantages and benefits it provides us – be pushed aside by monopolies wanting to limit energy choice,” TUSK’s national chairman Barry Goldwater, Jr. recently noted. “That’s not the conservative way and it’s not the American way.”

We agree …

The Wenzel/ TUSK poll surveyed 606 South Carolinians on landlines and cell phones from October 9-10.  Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.96 percentage points.  For more information, click on the polling memo below.


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The Colonel November 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

Looks like Will’s found a new sugar daddy! T-Rav who?

For the record, I’m all about solar. Looking for a lot now that I can install a larger windmill and some solar arrays.

Jackie Chiles November 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

Solar really makes a lot of sense as the installation costs reduce. Your roof literally does nothing but sit up there all day soaking up sun. Might as well monetize it to save you some money. I guarantee you it’d be much cheaper to install a ton of solar panels on people’s houses than it is currently costing SCE&G’s customers to build that billion dollar overrun nuclear reactor in Jenkinsville.

The Colonel November 12, 2014 at 9:18 am

Still need the Nuke plant – what do you do when you get a freak snow storm and your panels don’t produce for 4-5 days.

Jackie Chiles November 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

With increased solar use throughout SCE&G’s user base, I think it’s highly likely that the current nuclear infastructure would be capable of handling the electric needs of the customer base. Obviously, I don’t have any inside knowledge of what a freak snowstorm looks like on SCE&G’s capacity, but many people have gas heat anyways. I always thought the summers were the greater tax on capacity than winter storms.

The Colonel November 12, 2014 at 9:35 am

Summers are generally a greater tax on electrical production but in a solar scenario, they’re also the greatest period of potential production (longer days, more direct light).

I’ve had a vertical axis Savonius wind turbine generating electricity in my back yard off and on since my oldest son and I built it for a science fair project.

Jackie Chiles November 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

Very cool! How much power do they generate? Are they connected to your grid? How much land do you have them on?

The Colonel November 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

Not much, no and just one on about an acre.

Right now its just spinning freely but capable of maintaining 12-18 volts/300 or so watts in all but the lightest breeze but we have used it to charge cell phones and power lights (DC system). It was originally designed to be lifted into the air by a balloon. Savonius mills do not have to be oriented “into the wind” to generate.

He got an A and a scholarship – I had a bill for about $600…

Rocky November 12, 2014 at 9:13 am

I call BS. Better to start drilling off Hilton Head.

BillBrasky November 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

I’m all for “clean” and AFFORDABLE energy, but solar has been the “next best thing” for the last 20 years. I’m not holding my breath for any huge changes in SC’s energy grid.

Bingo! November 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Exactly. I guess we are just one good gov’t central planner away from making every right economic decision.

This whole charade reminds me of the “hydrogen economy” bullshit that was floating around SC 5-10 years ago.

What do we have to show for millions of SC taxpayer dollars dumped into it? Unused filling stations dotted around the landscape, that’s what.

How many more Solyndra’s will it take for people to just stop guessing on what is feasible with taxpayer money versus letting entrepreneur’s risk their own capital for real advances?

SomalianRoadCorp November 12, 2014 at 9:20 am

Certainly with improvements in solar battery capacity it will soon nearly replace electric utilities (and I say good riddance). However, doesn’t change the fact that electric heat and kitchen stove tops suck. NG is still King in both respects.

Philip Branton November 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

My dear…dear….GRASSHOPPER. Do you see the Wil Folks “play”..? Do you see his child sacrifice..?

“…We support whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest possible cost for the consumer. ..”

Grasshopper, Mr. Folks is no rookie. He understands that ….. “..We MUST support whatever keeps the lights on at the lowest possible BLOOD FOR OIL around the world to benefit ALL American taxpayers…..!!!”

He cares about his children’s future BLOOD FOR OIL needs..! He knows that when he pays his electric BILL every single “Gosh” darn month that the electric company should be paying HIM instead..!!!

But…GRASSHOPPER…….can Mr. Folks publish those facts and still receive his ad “stipend”..?!

Be mindful……..dear GRASSHOPPER….!

Philip Branton November 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

Dear Anita Zucker……….your 4 MIllion gift to the Citadel after their chair gift to Mayor Riley speak volumes…!!

Ya know, Anita………..we know you see that Bridge across from the Charleston Rifle Club just like Mayor Riley and Wil Folks does…!!!

Dare to wonder why Brian Crabtree and Wil Folks never “share” that picture with a “herd”..?

Boomerang 506…..

Philip Branton November 12, 2014 at 10:31 am

Twinkle, Twinkle….little “Solar” star ….how does Mr. Folks wonder …….where your Post and Courier screenshotz are..?

Up in the cyber sky so bright…..only a wise COLONEL can tell why a webpage may look not look quite “rite”..!!

Like a diamond in the ad revenue “sky”.

When the blazing sun solar price is high,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little crooked light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the “profitable” night.

Then the fitsnews taxpayers in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny webpage info spark,
Grand Tango could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so……….

Boomerang 804….

gvsteve November 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I am a strong supporter of solar energy. However, it seems that solar energy is an unstoppable force regardless of anything we do to promote or discourage it.

The cost of solar energy has been dropping at an exponential rate for the last 30 years. (Very similar to Moore’s Law observing that computers get twice as fast every 18 months.) The author below predicted in 2011 that by 2020, the cost of solar energy would be equal to that of coal energy. He checked his numbers a few months ago and solar had actually dropped faster than he predicted.

So we may be six years out from the end of coal-fired electricity plants.

By 2030, if this trend continues, coal electricity will cost twice as much as solar electricity.

Soft Sigh from Hell November 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Lockheed’s recent claims to be on the verge of useful fusion energy are intriguing. Many experts think it is wishful thinking and that modern technology is not yet remotely close; others can’t imagine such a major corporation just blowing smoke with such specific and optimistic claims.

And the potential of solar power certainly has the energy companies concerned in the states where it is growing rapidly.

Ron Winton November 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Southcarolinasolar .com made solar affordable at $3.20 per watt before incentives or less than $2.25 per watt after the tax credit, years ago. That translates into an price for an average sized 4.75 kw system that produces up to 600 kilowatt hours of electricity for only $10,640. So that “next best thing” has already arrived.


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