Rooftop Solar System Growth Scares Public Utilities
Solar rooftop installations are trumping large commercial solar projects, much to the chagrin of public utilities.
In 2008, 33,500 rooftop solar systems were installed on Americanhomes in 2008, this represents a 63% increase over 2007 installations. In California, rooftop solar installations increased 95% in 2008,compared to 2007.
In contrast, large commercial solar systems, pumping solar energy toconsumers via public utility companies, have not grown at the samerate.
According to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, between 2006and 2008, rooftop solar systems added 522 megawatts to electric grid,where as utility generated solar systems have supplied the grid withonly 98 megawatts.
In an effort to tighten their grip on the energy industry, severalutility companies have taken steps to disrupt rooftop solar growth. The utility companies’ tactics have ranged from asking government toreduce incentives for homeowners and businesses to install solarsystems, to proposing to charge solar powered homes fees for their use of the energy grid.
Adam Browning, executive director of The Vote Solar Initiative saida battle is brewing, "there is across the board tension betweendistributed solar generation and utilities. [Utilities] had the energypie to themselves for a century, and now facing a future where cleandistributed energy will play a large part, they’re looking for ways toprofit from it and maintain control."
As solar energy continues to evolve, it will be important to keep an eye on this issue.
Read the full story at Newsweek: Energy: Are Electric Companies Anti-Solar?
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