Editorial: Solar benefits

Wilton has been a proponent of solar energy for years now, and the town has taken another step toward increasing the rewards of renewable energy with a virtual net metering effort. At present, Wilton stands to save $150,000 a year on solar energy, and could save an additional $100,000 through virtual net metering.

Through virtual net metering — available in Connecticut only to municipalities, farms, and state agencies — an entity can receive energy billing credits for electricity generated at an offsite solar farm. A story on page 2A explains how the town is pursuing this in collaboration with the town of Weston.

Solar is just one form of renewable energy that is clean energy created by natural resources that continuously replenish themselves, unlike fossil fuels, which, when they are gone are gone. Other forms include wind, geothermal, and biomass.

In 2017, 4.7% of Connecticut’s electricity came from renewable sources, dwarfed by the 48% generated by the Millstone nuclear station. In 2016, 35% of Connecticut households used natural gas for home heating and 45% used oil or other petroleum products, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

While it’s clear solar and other renewable energy sources won’t overtake fossil fuels in the short term, it is a wise, long-term investment to take advantage of as many solar benefits as possible. With strides made in research and development, the tide may turn sooner than we think.