Economy May 6, 2023 | 11:01 am

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Regulation would discourage investment in solar panels

DR 100% Renovable proposes regulations that will discourage the installation of solar panels in the country.

A regulation prepared by the Superintendency of Electricity would significantly hinder investment in solar panels due to the obstacles it imposes, said yesterday RD 100% Renewable, a coalition of cooperatives, solar system installers, and environmental organizations.

Ramón Antonio Díaz of the Maimón Cooperative, who acted as spokesperson, said that the regulation discourages the installation of solar panels on roofs, as it imposes a fixed cost and charges for power, installation requests, and inspection visits.

He explained that the regulation establishes a complicated procedure that those interested in installing solar panels on roofs must comply with before the electricity distributor accepts their application and installs the bi-directional meter.

In a press conference at the Vizcaya restaurant, Diaz said that the regulation is a “real obstacle course” that discourages investment in solar panels.

Díaz said that with the regulation, the Superintendence of Electricity is doing the opposite to stimulate the self-consumption of electricity.

He expressed that, contrary to what happens here, in the United States and Spain, families are encouraged to install solar panels on their roofs, providing them with money or credit for acquiring the equipment and paying for the installation.

The spokesman pointed out that in the United States, the Government considers solar panels as an essential part of the strategy to face inflation because it allows the family to use the savings from the payment of the electricity bill to meet their food, education, and health needs.

It was further noted that in Bangladesh, a massive solar panel installation program is being developed to dismantle the electricity subsidy that is stifling its economy and generating indebtedness as it is happening in this country.

He explained that in many countries, the interested party installs solar panels on the roof of their home and then contacts the electricity distribution company to install the bi-directional meter without any prior formalities.

Díaz wondered if the country wants to expand solar panels on roofs if it forces interested families to pay a fixed fee for the panels.

He further stated that the approval and application of the regulation would make practically impossible the realization of the project elaborated by RD 100% Renovable together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines, with the purpose of installing in three years solar panels on the roofs of 180,000 houses to the installation of 600 megawatts. He pointed out that this project seeks to reduce the distributors’ electricity subsidy and the millionaire losses.

Díaz also called on the Superintendence of Electricity to align itself with the whole Government in the fight against climate change and with the zero carbon policy proclaimed by President Luis Abinader on April 21 at the National Palace.

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Paul Tierney
May 6, 2023 11:31 am

It appears the electricity distributors want a monopoly.