“As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels up on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have ‘net metering’ laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.
That’s a genuine problem for utilities. All these solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that, without policy changes, this trend could soon put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent.
To avoid that fate, many utilities are now pushing for reforms that would at least slow the breakneck growth of rooftop solar — say, by scaling back those ‘net metering’ laws. And that’s opened up a war with many fronts.”
– “Solar power is growing so fast that older energy companies are trying to stop it,” Brad Plumer, Vox
“Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access,” Jeff Brady, NPR
“Taxes, fees: the worldwide battle between utilities and solar,” Tracy Rucinski and Byron Kaye, Reuters
“Old Energy’ Utilities See Rising Threat from Solar,” Taegan Goddard, Wonk Wire
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