Heather Briccetti from the Business Council of New York State employs the usual scare tactics in her letter about solar power ["Solar too expensive for big investment," April 19]. But, the numbers she uses are misleading.
In the report she cites from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, she quotes the high-cost scenario. The agency's likely scenario suggests a cost increase of 1 percent to 3 percent to consumers. And it could be less. More solar means less reliance on our dirtiest and most expensive power plants; the study concluded that producing 5,000 megawatts of solar power in New York by 2025 could save New Yorkers $3.3 billion annually as a result.
We agree that ratepayers should not be exposed to unanticipated rate increases. That's why solar legislation should ensure that the cost of the program does not exceed 1.5 percent of total retail energy sales. With that cap, and a clear target for the industry's growth, we could provide stability in New York's solar market that would create thousands of jobs installing solar panels and would protect the environment.
New York is lagging behind neighboring states, and we can catch up only by setting a long-term target for growth in the solar market.
R. Sail Van Nostrand, Greenlawn
Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group.