Evaluate who you think is responsible for maintaining infrastructure (power lines, meters, emergency repairs) when people generate their own renewable energy at home. Is it fair for those who can't afford new technology to shoulder the burden? Does charging a fee discourage people who could be installing solar and wind technology at home from doing so?

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In terms of who should bear the cost of renewable energy, there are valid arguments to be made in both directions.

Proponents of renewable power might reasonably feel that installing equipment at home is a net social good. Many people seek out renewable power not because of the savings, but for its big-picture ecological benefits. This might, by extension, mean they feel entitled to use existing infrastructure for their personal investment because what they're doing is good for everyone in the long term.

On the other hand, those who don't have the means to make these upgrades may feel burdened by the expectation that some of their money now goes to supporting someone else's private in-home equipment. A useful analog for this might be taxes—many people feel resentful when their taxes are used for things that don't somehow benefit them.

A decent compromise might be to meet somewhere in the middle. Often, those who generate electricity at home generate more than they need for their own use and sell it back to the utility company. If the technology becomes robust enough that houses with equipment generate enough for the power company's other needs, the power company might be more amenable to taking over infrastructure. The customers who still pay for power are already paying for the company's other infrastructure to begin with, which might make this an easier arrangement to adjust to.

Keep in mind that your assignment is specifically asking for your opinion here, which means you have a few things to think about as you craft your answer. Do you agree with any of the conclusions above? Why or why not?

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