Solar potential grappled by big power companies
Sun power generates electricity with no hazards of global warming pollution, no fuel costs, no risks of fuel price spikes, and has the potential to move nations toward cleaner, reliable, and affordable source of electricity.
Globally, solar power is booming faster than any other renewable energy, according to research by the International Energy Agency. In 2016, solar accounted for up to two-thirds of new power capacity added.
A leading financial incentive that drives this growth of solar power is net energy billing or net metering. Through net metering, consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity (i.e. through solar roof installations) are allowed to offset their own use while maintaining a secure connection to the utility grid for times when they need to purchase electricity. This two-way interconnection of customer-owned generating resources and utility-owned networks also allows customers to receive a credit for any surplus remaining after power use, or any excess will be applied to future electricity bills.
But net metering faces challenges from utility companies. In many countries across the globe, several bills are being introduced reviewing current net metering rules. For some states in the US like Indiana, Maine, and Massachusetts net metering customers will receive lower compensation rate for pumping excess power generated by their solar devices into the grid. While Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona have already started to phase out net metering. Utilities say net metering payments are shifting the cost of serving homes with solar panels onto other utility customers. Clean-energy advocates counter this, saying such regulations are "not anti-solar but pro-coal and pro-pollution."
The potential loss in net metering is discouraging people from considering solar power while well-funded lobbying campaigns by conventional power giants that seek to reverse economic incentives for solar slows down its proliferation.
It is worthwhile to note that costs of installing solar panels have declined significantly since 2010, making it a more attractive alternative energy source especially to homeowners. Further, rooftop solar is thriving in many new markets and businesses. These solar potentials may be seen as existential threat to the monopoly business model of utilities.
Solaready Inc. believes in the important balance between the needs of all consumers and a fair system where solar customers are paid in a same, competitive price. Further, as champions of renewable energy, Solaready PH founders and team maintains a stand that the environmental advantages of net metering rules far outweighs its fiscal benefits.
Switching to renewables such as solar helps provide ecologically sustainable home planet, Earth.
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