While solar power has been considered the wave of the future for years, it has had a tough time gaining a permanent footing in many parts of the world. Several years ago, many states and the federal government announced tax breaks to individuals and businesses that purchased solar panels for their homes or offices. According to a recent news article, the State of Indiana may be reducing the benefits that someone could receive through the installation of solar panels (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/indiana/articles/2017-04-04/indiana-house-passes-bill-to-cut-solar-panel-incentives).
Earlier this week, the State of Indiana’s House of Representatives announced that they had approved a measure to reduce the benefits received by individuals that install solar panels. The measure was approved by a record of 56 to 43. One of the key measures that people will no longer receive is the right to sell energy back to the power company at the same retail rate. While it is not yet known what the new rate will be, a substantial discount is expected.
While the final bill still needs to be worked out, it is expected that new buyers of solar panels will be far more affected than existing owners. Many existing owners will be able to receive some level of benefit for at least another 30 years. The reason for why the state approved this measure is not quite clear, but many believe that the state was influenced by the major utility companies. Today, solar energy accounts for less than one percent of the total energy usage in the state, but utility companies could be concerned about an increase in popularity, which would reduce the utility company profits.
While Indiana has cut back on solar benefits, the entire solar energy has had a harder year. While solar stocks increased a lot in value in recent years, they have had a tough time over the past 12 months. A big part of this has been due to the fact that oil prices have declined rapidly in this time, which has reduced the need to find alternative sources of energy.