The future of solar is continued growth, improved technology and lower implementation costs. Don’t let the prospect of net metering ending stop you from going ahead with an install. In view, the tariffs simply promote better technology, including BIPV and significantly increased PV system efficiency. This post is a call on governments to invite more of their populations to install solar PV systems through improved incentives. These incentives could include rebates, higher net-metering payback with lower implementation costs, lower tariffs, more assistance programs for low-mid income families and greater tax credits.
Few viable incentives for solar
The lack of incentives for solar, renewable energy and net metering have stunted renewable energy industry growth for years. Why would utility providers want to release their grip on electrical grids though? It would mean lost revenue for them! Eventually governments will step in at the federal level to help with deregulation of power distribution grids. It will be akin to mobile phone networks and for opponents that say this would be comparing apples to oranges, look at fibre optic infrastructure and other loosening of regulation for communications grids. It will require the utility companies to lose revenue but this could be easily made back by selling to nearby grids who aren’t following a similar and progressive plan.
BC Hydro is an offender
Where I live in Vancouver, BC the climate for net metering is unfriendly and BC hydro touts that 90% of power generation already comes from renewable sources. That extra 10% should be renewable in my view also! It leaves room for more incentives for solar which will be coming to meet sustainability goals. The biggest oversight by utility providers who don’t believe in energy storage is that any excess power could be sold in times of crisis at a premium to neighbouring municipalities/provinces/states/countries. With climate change this reality will be happening more and more. Texas in 2021 and the ice storm that crippled their distribution grid and for some customers, they went without power for weeks. Having the appropriate grid upgrades and interconnection could prevent this. A proactive utility provider could easily see this and cover the costs to update and interconnect grids outside their own power network. The first utility provider to market in this regard will win all the awards and revenue that comes with this, other utility providers will follow, globally but not have the same impact. This post is call for BC Hydro and other utility providers to seriously consider or be left behind as well in times of crisis.
Deregulation is key for solar PV
As a whole there needs to be greater pressure on governments at all levels to force utility providers to deregulate and give up control of the grid. The climate for net metering in British Columbia is very unfriendly due to the tight control our public utility provider has over electrical generation and distribution. It’s all a glaring conflict of interest but due to tax revenues is all overlooked.
The first utility company to notice will get all the benefits
Perhaps the biggest oversight in all this post is that excess power generated by solar could be sold, in times of crisis to nearby utility providers. If, of course the appropriate upgrades to the grid were made to achieve this. Whoever is prepared in this regard will not only reap massive benefits but also turn the tide for other utility providers and grids, globally.