Econ professor advocates for solar energy.

Professor of Economics Jens Christiansen

Jens Christiansen, an economics professor at Mount Holyoke College, is a strong voice for removing caps on Massachusetts’ solar energy program. The program, known as net metering, allows certain generators of solar power to be paid for the electricity that they add to the power grid. But state law caps the program at a percentage of the total electrical usage.

Christiansen has joined other solar advocates on a ten-city tour to urge the state to drop the caps.

"Putting a cap on metering is definitely the wrong policy," said Christiansen, quoted in an MassLive article. "It is driven by special interest. It is not what the population wants. We urge our local representatives in the Statehouse in Massachusetts to do whatever they can in order to raise those caps, in order to make it possible for the industry to expand."

In an appearance on Channel 22, Christiansen noted that climate change that drives the extreme weather patterns that have resulted in “gigantic storms” and record-breaking temperatures.

Ultimately, Christiansen suggested to WAMC that solar energy is limited by net metering, which keeps the price high relative to that of other energy sources.

"The expansion of the solar industry will bring down the price of solar energy. It will eventually become competitive," he said.