A roadmap for making residential solar work
- Aug 25, 2019 7:45 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-09 - Distributed Energy Resources, click here for more
The current environment for residential solar is geared to early adopters and people who are willing to take a risk. The regulations have enshrined, in most states, a risk reward structure that rewards the early movers and transfers costs to the people who have not moved to install solar. Per million customers most utilities are seeing around 2,000 applications for solar a year based on 2018-9 numbers. That means at the current rate all dwellings will not have solar before 2070, well beyond the time period that most environmentalist want to see 100% renewables.
The way the regulations are written, people who can afford it want to be net-zero so they never pay a utility bill, but in a state like Michigan an average residence uses 8 megawatt hours a year with a peak usage of 2 kilowatts, and to be net-zero that same home needs to export over 5 megawatt-hours, which they then re-import and they have a peak export of over 6 kilowatts, but because of the legacy net metering tariffs, they pay nothing toward maintaining that infrastructure, that they now use more of.
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