The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells

Quartz: The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells A report in March detailed how electric utilities were working through […]


Quartz: The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells

A report in March detailed how electric utilities were working through state regulators to stunt the spread of rooftop solar, the latest tactic in a campaign an industry group started three years ago. What worries utilities so much?

At one level, the problem is obvious: customers with rooftop solar panels buy less energy and pay less to utilities. But the issue is not limited to giant utility companies’ earnings potential. After all, we all use electricity and rely on utilities to maintain the power infrastructure.

Why is solar so threatening to utilities? And how is the rapid growth of solar changing how the grid works? The answers lie in the sometimes-arcane world of electric utilities and their business model. In all the change, though, there needs to be a discussion over how solar fits into the grid and how to ensure grid reliability.

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EcoWatch: Solar Energy: Grid vs. Battery Storage

As solar power—both giant farms and small rooftop installations—enjoys tremendous growth across the U.S., there’s been pushback from big utility companies.

They’ve campaigned to end net metering, in which solar panel owners can return unneeded power they’ve generated to the grid for credit, and to add fees to their bills, calling homeowners and small businesses with rooftop panels “free riders” who don’t contribute to the upkeep of the grid.

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The Christian Science Monitor: Including the poor in the solar energy boom

As solar power—both giant farms and small rooftop installations—enjoys tremendous growth across the U.S., there’s been pushback from big utility companies.

They’ve campaigned to end net metering, in which solar panel owners can return unneeded power they’ve generated to the grid for credit, and to add fees to their bills, calling homeowners and small businesses with rooftop panels “free riders” who don’t contribute to the upkeep of the grid.

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Journal of Commerce: Construction Corner: Warming up to solar energy systems

Modern technology is helping us develop innovative ways to produce alternative energy.

Solar and wind energy are good examples, although the idea of tapping the sun and the wind for light and heat is hardly new.

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