Federal Tariff in Vermont

There is a proposed Federal tariff on the import of PV panels that the Federal Trade Commission might impose next year.

PV panels, also known as solar photovoltaic, are an application of solar power used. It is common to see PV panels on roofs. The electrical charge from the sun's energy creates an electrical charge of the PV panel, which creates electricity that powers homes.

Benjamin Luce, a professor of Natural Sciences at Lyndon State College, has many years of experience with solar; installation and design of systems, modeling and analysis, public education, and policy design. He was also very involved in the creation of policies in New Mexico, which included a state solar tax credit, enhanced net-metering, a Renewable Energy Standard, and a program by which utilities would purchase Renewable Energy Credits from net-metered PV systems to count towards the State Renewable Energy Program.

The tariff proposes the import of PV panels that the Federal Trade Commission might initiate next year. This means 40 cents per watt would be added to certain PV panels, which would raise the price of that module. Luce believes the policies and incentives need to be crafted very carefully to produce a very rapid uptake in solar while still being able to provide maximal protection to the environment. According to Solar Nation, The Green Mountain State has nearly doubled its installed solar power over the last year. It is understood solar makes money in Vermont, thanks to incentives, tax breaks, and rebates. Vermont is one of the highest electricity rates in the nation. Solar Nation aims to have Vermont 90% of clean energy by 2050.

"I believe solar power is key to the future well-being of both human race and the natural environment (which I see as inseparable). That said, I believe that policies and incentives need to be crafted very carefully so as to produce a very rapid uptake in solar while still providing maximal protection to the environment, to the aesthetic beauty of Vermont and really all regions, and to the economy," explained Luce.

Luce believes the cost of PV systems is in the "balance of system". He believes this might slow the US installation rate, but it also might help some US manufacturers compete better, which could help the industry.

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