Former Bank of America CEO endorses solar in NC
In a climate where government may be more responsive to the influence and sway of business, a banking industry mogul gave solar energy a ringing endorsement. Drawing comparisons between the solar industry in North Carolina and the banking industry in the 1980's, former Bank of American CEO and chairperson Hugh McColl Jr. believes solar can become a major economic force in the state, much like financial services did.
Look at what happened in Silicon Valley. It is not out of our reach. We have the talent and the universities. We have some of the world’s largest energy and energy-efficiency companies, including Siemens, AREVA, Babcock & Wilcox, Cree and Duke Energy, the nation’s largest utility. We certainly have the capital. Major financial institutions employ thousands of North Carolinians and are actively investing in new energy globally. These companies include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, MetLife, Babson Capital and TIAA-CREF.
Critics of solar do not understand that it is here to stay. In the last decade, business and innovation have cut the cost of solar power by more than half. Solar is now close to competing with conventional sources of energy such as natural gas, coal and nuclear. Solar in North Carolina costs our utilities 6 to 7 cents a kilowatt-hour and continues to fall. Compare that with the average retail price of about 11 cents a kilowatt-hour.
From the News & Observer