[MCN] A reality check on net-metering
lance at wildrockies.org
Sat Jun 11 11:39:16 EDT 2016
Grist Jun 9, 2016
Solar panels don't raise regular utility rates - and might even lower them
By Heather Smith
In the early days of solar, there was some
concern - nay, terror - of how it could destroy
utilities and make power more expensive for all
the plebes sans solar panels. A confession: Even
Grist partook in such fearmongering:
Solar power and other distributed renewable
energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power
utilities and burn the utility business model,
which has remained virtually unchanged for a
century, to the ground.
But we took it back!
Even if utility models crashed and burned, their
customers - and the utilities themselves, if they
were smart enough to adapt - would be just fine.
That less apocalyptic, much chiller view of the
end of utilities as we know them was recently
confirmed by a new report from the Brookings
So here's the good news: Residential solar
(specifically net metering, which enables solar
installations to sell surplus electricity back to
the grid) has not destroyed any American
utilities. Nor has it created a dystopia of solar
panel-having fat cats who profit off the grid
while ordinary ratepayers are forced to assume
more and more of the cost of maintaining it.
"Just remember, this is not your grandfather's
atmosphere. Things are different now, and will
get even more-so in the coming years "
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