Karl Rábago: Value of Solar

May 12, 2016
First Parish, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA

The Boston Area Solar Energy Association is proud to welcome Karl R. Rábago, known as the foremost national authority on Value of Solar calculation methodology. Our Net Metering Solar Task Force's first recommendation called for a Value of Solar study to inform fair compensation for solar energy production by tying it to the real "value and impact of solar in Massachusetts". This is where solar policy is going, graduating from arbitrary one-for-one kilowatt-hour compensation - as if a clean energy kilowatt-hour has no more value than one generated burning polluting fossil fuels.

A weak solar bill just passed (April 11th), granting an anemic raise in net metering caps, which unfortunately lasted only 2 weeks and 3 days until the cap was hit once again (April 28th), while also slashing compensation for low income and community shared solar projects. Next, the legislature plans to craft an 'omnibus energy bill', figuring it had got solar out of the way. Can we move to inject the sanity of Value of Solar (Distributed Generation) into this omnibus bill?

Karl Rábago has a knack for cutting through complexity to clearly and concisely present the broad view of how distributed energy resources are integrated from an economic and ratepaying perspective, honed through deep career experience in utility systems and policy work. (View Mr. Rábago's recent address to the Rhode Island state legislature for a primer,  here.)  Proper valuation of distributed energy resources is essential to the health of the new energy economy, as we transition from fossil fuel based centralized generation to add more and more local, clean energy.

Karl R. Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace Law School in White Plains, New York. The PECC mission is to protect the earth's environment through solutions that transform the ways that society supplies and consumes energy. Karl has some 25 years experience in energy and climate policy markets. Karl serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that works to advance voluntary clean energy markets. He also sits on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Karl also is co-director and principal investigator for the Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition, a US DOE SunShot Initiative Solar Market Pathways project.

His past positions include Commissioner, Texas Public Utility Commission; Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy; Vice President of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy; Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind; and Managing Director & Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management, Karl is an attorney (University of Texas Law School, J.D. with Honors) with post-doctorate degrees in environmental (LL.M., Pace University School of Law) and military law (LL.M., US Army Judge Advocate General's School). A veteran of more than 12 years in the US Army, he served as an Armored Cavalry officer and member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and is Airborne and Ranger qualified.