sub3marathonman wrote:From the Washington Post article, "While homeowners with solar panels usually see dramatic reductions in their electric bills, they still rely on the grid for electricity at night and on cloudy days. The utility collects less revenue, even though the infrastructure costs — from expensive power plants to transmission lines and maintenance crews — remain the same."
That is what I object to, as it is blatantly false. The infrastructure costs are not remaining the same, they are, or could be, decreasing with the installation of rooftop solar. For example, currently, I have used 0 kwh during peak and semi-peak demand times. Yet, they are saying they're keeping 20% of their rarely used infrastructure on hand for me, and not for those people who are blasting their A/C when its 100 degrees or have their house at 80 when its 30 below where they're at.
And the falsehoods go beyond what you have mentioned:
- They fail to mention that during other times, the solar panels are feeding power into the grid. For utilities in warm climates, this typically happens during peak load times. In other words, not only do the homes with solar panels NOT load the grid, but instead they unload it, at least when the sun is shining brightly. (When the sun is NOT shining brightly, the load is reduced because of lower air-conditioning load.)
- The solar panels feed the grid from the load end, which is generally preferable to feeding more power in at the power plant.
- If enough homes add solar panels at a sufficiently high rate, then the need for grid expansion in the future may be greatly reduced.
Unfortunately, the utilities' complaints are mostly valid in cold places where the peak load occurs during cold, dark winter nights. But, frankly, the penetration of solar in such locations is so low today that the utilities are not yet being impacted by the growth of PV. Hopefully cost-effective storage solutions will be in place in time to address the concerns in these areas.