In partnership with PLMA, this group is for practitioners from energy utilities, solution providers, and trade allies to share load management expertise and explore innovative approaches to program delivery, pricing constructs, and technology adoption.

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What Solar Energy Can Offer to Load Management

Todd Carney's picture
Writer, Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Aug 8, 2022
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Solar Builder had an article this past week that discussed whether solar power could help with load management. Conceptually, solar power should assist here because it is a lot easier to balance energy usage with supply when there is more energy to go around, and it seems that fossil fuels can take users only so far. But solar power can only go so far.

The use of electricity will not decrease anytime soon. In fact studies predict that use will increase by about 30 percent by 2050. Many in the industry feel that solar power can prove particularly helpful in load management when technology can store solar energy. Not only could the storage allow for people to use energy later, but it could also convince people to limit their use of energy during certain times, so they could use it later.

The piece further argued that increases in energy prices could convince people to engage in using other sources of energy, such as solar power. It also maintained that through the use of advanced features such as giving the user real-time data, and to program energy usage, then people can have more control over their usage and save the energy gained from solar power.

The piece also noted that in order to maximize the use of solar energy, many homes that already use solar energy would need to have their equipment updated to work with the latest technology. Fortunately, some solr companies are providing updates for users of solar energy. 

Despite the promise of these capabilities, some are concerned that there is not enough of a pay off for users. For people who already use solar energy, the technology discussed in the piece would not necessarily give people access to more energy, it would just allow them to be a bit more efficient, which would be great for the overall grid, but do little for the actual user. Additionally, while some companies are willing to provide free updates and installments, some of the infrastructure does have to come out of pocket for users. 

The article concluded that the best way to increase use of solar energy is to provide a financial incentive for consumers to use it. The technology might not be there yet, but hopefully eventually consumers can utilize different products to save money and/or use further energy that does not negative impact the grid, so consumers do not have to worry about rationing their energy use.

 

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