Everything we know about electricity has and is changing. Solar has fundamentally shifted the power paradigm and utility lobbyists are running to catch up. While states like California and New York are working to create and adopt Distributed System Platforms (DSP’s) that will integrate the power being created by individual solar systems into a master grid for all to use; there are also States like Hawaii and Arizona that have imposed solar stifling laws that protect utility companies. By contrast Minnesota has become the first state to conduct a formalized study about the “value of solar,” and is the first to accurately measure the true value of solar power and its unfair relationship with net metering.
Currently net metering allows customers to pay the net between their solar production and how much grid power they actually use (kind of like a credit system). The problem is utilities generally give solar customers retail prices as opposed to market value or customers are not compensated at all since many states have outlawed net metering. What the study found is that the price of retail energy is higher than the value of solar all together and is higher than the cost of solar. Now what does this mean for you exactly? Well, that remains to be seen. The energy created by solar house holds spill off into the grid and ease reliance on power plants. But the question remains about whether they should be compensated and if so, how much? If other states begin to adopt similar policies we could see the construction of a new electrical grid that integrates distributed energy sources (solar homes) into a distributed system platform provider. Ultimately, utilities will have to adapt or face extinction because they won’t be able to hold off solar forever.
Either way we will soon see the makings of a democratic energy model because solar is here to stay.