I am writing to encourage the city to support the effort to purchase solar panels for the Sanford Center. The “Green Discussion” article incorrectly stated that electricity generated from the solar panels on the BREC would cost $10/kwh, which has hurt the image of these panels in the minds of the community since summer.

The real costs of the project would be about $0.21/kwh once the 20-year lifetime of the panels is taken into consideration. Coal on the other hand, has many costs that are not fully accounted in its seemingly cheap $0.06 price per kilowatt that are avoided by using renewable energy.

An Environmental Law Institute study found that $72.5 billion subsidized all fossil fuel sectors from 2002 to 2008; $29 billion was spent to subsidize renewable energy, with $16.8 billion of that used for corn ethanol. Since fossil fuels are established in the market and harmful, it is redundant that our government still subsidizes these technologies. If we invested more in renewable technology, prices could decrease and we would have clean, healthy, and infinite sources of energy. There are reasons such large grants like the $100,000 one exist to help communities and individuals install renewable technology.

source: bemidjipioneer