Comments by Rosana Francescato Subscribe

On Is VOST a Tax on Solar? And Is That a Bad Thing?

Thanks for your comments, Karl! You have a good point that what something is called is not as important as how it is implemented. Of course, when utilities push something and try to take control, that's worrisome. As I noted, both policies have pros and cons. And as we look toward Net Metering 2.0 here in California, perhaps we can try to incorporate what's best from each, if possible. 

We're already seeing loans gain traction as a way for consumers to go solar and own their systems, so a day may come when leasing is not as prevalent as it is now.

And yes, an open conversation about these would be best, and maybe not looking at the options so much as competing but as each offering valuable benefits. We do all want more solar!

May 21, 2014    View Comment    

On APS Continues Using Dark Money and Subterfuge to Fight Arizona Rooftop Solar, But Will It Succeed?

How is this different from what solar advocates do? For starters, because of the secrecy and lying about who is putting out the message:

Why do solar advocates claim that APS is trying to kill solar in Arizona, even though Arizona is second only to California in solar deployments? Because APS is trying to kill roofop solar, not utility-scale solar. As in a number of other states, the utilities are taking the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach but are working hard to ensure that solar power generation is kept in their own hands and not on their customers' roofs.

Why is rooftop solar important? It keeps control in the hands of the people using the power, it keeps dollars circulating in the local economy (even more so with a FIT that promotes local ownership than with leases), it avoids power loss and costs that come with building new transmission lines.

To be clear, I am not against utility-scale solar. I think we need all kinds of solar. However, I believe we need as much power generation as possible to be locally owned and controlled by the people who use it.

I agree that a truly independent study would be great. To be fair and accurate, it would need to include costs like the many huge subsidies that continue being shelled out for fossil fuels. We can't have a real conversation about costs without including those.

That would not even count all the externalities that make fossil fuels truly too costly for the planet and its inhabitants.

April 28, 2014    View Comment    

On A New Way for Homeowners to Go Solar

Of course I don't believe the air will be selectively cleaned up or that cleaner air now will make up for past transgressions, but cleaner air will benefit everyone regardless of income. My point about Collective Sun is that like Mosaic, they have a low barrier to investing. And they also put solar on places like this:

California Shared Renewables is just starting, and I know people who are working to create projects with the intention of benefitting low-income folks.

The trends should be farther along than they are, and the future options should be current. We should have had more support for solar long ago. But given where we are, I'm thankful for the trends.

March 6, 2014    View Comment    

On A New Way for Homeowners to Go Solar

Thanks for your comment, Bob! I would certainly not consider that a good development, but I don't agree with your statement:

To survive, utilities will need to evolve with the times. There is more to come as solar becomes more mainstream. It will benefit everyone in many ways, not the least of which is a cleaner environment for all -- especially important for low-income communities, which are often in environmentally compromised areas.

March 6, 2014    View Comment    

On Solar Energy Is Heading to Mainstream in the United States

Hi Willem,

Thanks for your comment. Of course I am familiar with the production data. Shayle Kann was not saying that U.S. production is close to that of some other countries or that solar is a major source of our energy -- yet. He did illustrate that the rate of solar production is increasing. Neither he nor I said it is mainstream, but we believe it's heading there.

Even the article you point to says that solar is a "promising startup" that "could really make a dent."

Time will tell. Like the author of the article you point to, I am optimistic.



December 18, 2013    View Comment    

On How to Market Solar Energy to Women , and Why It's Important

Oops, meant to reply to comment below, please disregard this.

November 11, 2013    View Comment    

On How to Market Solar Energy to Women , and Why It's Important

Solar is a newer industry; fossil fuels got big boosts when they were at that stage, too. See A couple excerpts: "during the first 15 years of subsidies for the respective industries, oil and gas subsidies represented half a percent of the federal budget, about $1.8 billion a year, and all renewables only about a tenth of a percent, or $0.5 billion." and "When it comes to new power plants, many places around the world are finding that solar and other renewables are cheaper than coal and gas even without subsidies."

In addition, fossil fuels come with externalities that all our children will be dealing with for many years.

November 11, 2013    View Comment    

On How Clean Energy Victory Bonds Can Power Our Future

Thanks for your comment, Nichol, and great question.

The bonds would count toward the overall deficit. They would be sold over a period of 2-3 years, and would have variable terms, so that the government would not be on the hook for repayment in the short term (up to 10 years). Also, the programs supported by the bonds, such as the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit, are all proven jobs and tax revenue generators, so the increase in revenues will more than offset the cost of the bonds, resulting in a reduction in the deficit over the next decade.

July 30, 2013    View Comment    

On Intersolar 2013: Looking to the Future of the Solar Energy Industry

Yes, storage will be key in spreading solar further and definitely came up at Intersolar. See more at

July 25, 2013    View Comment    

On Are Solar Panels Worth the Cost?

If you have enough space, you can put solar panels on another part of your property. Or if you live in a state with solar gardens laws, you can subscribe to power from panels installed elsewhere (see Maybe it doesn't have to be either/or. I love solar, but I'd hate to see people cutting down trees to install it.

June 14, 2013    View Comment    

On The Path to 100% Renewables

More news on renewables:

Renewable energy provides 82% of all new US electrical generating capacity in first Q 2013:

13 countries got more than 30% of their electricity from renewable sources in 2011: (lots more stats in this one, too)

Some examples of places going 100% renewable already, or planning to:

April 10, 2013    View Comment    

On The Path to 100% Renewables

Mario, that's wonderful, thanks for sharing! I'm glad to see an example of using a combination of renewables so successfully. And it's relevant to the comment I just posted, given that Costa Rica does not spend money on wars.

Not all countries can make such extensive use of hydropower, but different combinations of renewables can work in different places. 

April 8, 2013    View Comment