One way to break the net metering stalemate (from an unexpected source)
By: SGN Staff
Quick Take: With all the heat and hyperbole surrounding the net metering controversy, it's nice to read an article that recommends cool heads and deliberate decision making. And it's from John Sterling of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Given that several other solar associations are attacking electric power utilities as the Source of All Evil, you might expect SEPA to be one-sided.
However, as we already saw with their report Ratemaking, Solar Value and Solar Net Energy Metering - A Primer, SEPA tries hard to be even-handed. They understand that solar power needs the electric power industry for its long-term success. I've put a quick summary below, or jump the SEPA blog for the full post.- By Jesse Berst
Across the country, net metering is being hotly debated by utilities and solar stakeholders. Resolution seems not only difficult but potentially nonexistent. Part of the issue is that all parties are hoping to see a solution that meets everyone’s needs from day one.
Rather than searching for a one-size-fits-all solution, we should look to combine near-term needs with long-term sustainability. We need a defined transition plan to gradually and progressively align the interests of utilities and the solar industry.
Any changes will have a negative impact on the economic value proposition for solar adoption, so we must define a transition to moderate that impact. We need to introduce changes with careful deliberation.
Utilities may want to look at a staged approach. This will allow the market to adjust. This transition might include an incentive that gradually declines. Or, alternatively, a gradual ramp up of a standby charge.
Moving the conversation away from an immediate change towards a gradual transition will allow a sustainable solution to occur.