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View Diary: Residential solar will be cheaper than grid electricity in 25 states by 2015 says utility CEO (142 comments)

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  •  Susan - eventually everyone who is on the grid (10+ / 0-)

    will have to pay a monthly cash fee to stay connected everywhere in the US. In addition, the utility will stop buying your excess power at any price, it's a pain to manage and they don't want it. This is the pattern we see in those European countries that are much farther down the adoption curve of rooftop solar than the US. The utilities have been guaranteed a rate of return, which requires a certain level of revenues. Utilities don't make any profit on people who use low amounts of energy and solar is most compelling for people with high power bills. Those households with high bills represent the most profitable utility customers, and they are installing solar. Eventually, the utilities may be left with people in multifamily dwellings, the poor who can't afford or qualify for solar, or homes in areas with little direct sun paying for the entire grid and that can't happen. So everyone connected to the grid is going to have to make a monthly contribution.  

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 04:06:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I have heard that that is the next step, so (11+ / 0-)

      I have been looking into the newer technology for conversion and storage with the thought of eventually getting off the grid entirely. (If I live long enough for it to matter to me.) I don't mind supporting the infrastructure, I feel that I should and would be willing to do so through taxes. But if I can't maintain an annual balance with the power company then getting off is my only option. The electricity rates out here are the highest in the state.

      I live in the desert, the perfect place for solar energy, and since I have no access to natural gas, my home is all electric. It is hot in the summer - which is why, until a hundred years ago, no one lived out here year round. I shouldn't be living here, I know, but I do love it.

      Oh oh, I hope THAT doesn't end up in someone's sig line! :) - kos

      by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 05:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  or defection (6+ / 0-)

      The ones who can afford it will defect, which means
      the grid will be on the backs of the poor or
      the poorly sited.

      Let's say the top 25% all defect, getting Big Arrays,
      Storage batteries and chevy volts. so they can go V2H.

      Let's say the folks with southern exposures all defect

      that could easily be 30-50% of the market.

      it's likely the grid will have to become a public good.
      where the city charges a front footage and the Power department comes around and maintains the grid

      much like the water department

      •  Out of the shadows (0+ / 0-)

        Taxpayers instead of ratepayers is clearly where electric utilities will be getting their money.  The question for those currently relying on private utilities should be whether those utilities will be allowed to still operate a private businesses.  What will be the rationale for a private enterprise that is both obsolete and government funded?  Utilities have been winning these arguments in the legislative back rooms, where they actually take place.  If the public interest is to be served, though, that has to change - starting with getting the decisions out of the shadows.  

        •  If they move to direct taxpayer support (0+ / 0-)

          they will really have to become a "Public Good".

          You have things like Toll Roads where the Treasury
          is on the stick if it goes south but the direct user tolls
          pay the smash.

          But it's going to be much more problematic to give
          grid fees to dividend granting companies.

          Personally i think the Utiltiies will need to move into
          Grid brokering. Stop selling Power and start brokering
          power.

          If EVERYONE has an EV car, then the Utility will need to
          install L-2 Chargers EVERYWHERE and L-3 chargers across
          the region.  Then the Utility can have a biz model where
          they charge you to move power from your house to
          your car, and sell you voltage support, Frequency and Timing and charge you to move amps either way, plus sell you
          Access to L-2 chargers and L-3 chargers.

          Plus no reason why a utility can't lease you a solar array,

          but it's going to be a big change.

          Mostly meaning the Utility needs to go all 1952 phone company. Own a lot more stuff, cross beyond the demarc
          invest a lot more and become a lot more patriarchal and
          paternal,  and invest like mad for 10 years.

          But if they invest for 10 years, they will have a business for 100.

    •  Just as those driving electric vehicles... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, salmo

      will at some point have to start paying some pretty hefty highway use taxes. Somebody always has to pay for the infrastructure.

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