Early 2016 has seen some setbacks for the residential and utility-scale solar power industry. New regulations in Nevada have made installing solar financially unattractive for homeowners and The Clean Power Plan has been temporarily halted.
It’s easy to see how news stories like these can cast doubts in the minds of those who read them. Many on the sidelines might be thinking – “Is the future of renewable energy uncertain?”
On the contrary, there are more reasons than ever to be optimistic about the future adoption of solar power at all scales.
In fact, the solar power industry in America is set to have one of, if not its biggest year yet. So while there have been some recent solar roadblocks, the new economics of solar power are too good to ignore. We can look forward to many more people going solar as the savings in doing so continue to add up.
What about changes in net metering rules and extra fees being charged to solar customers?
Sure, these are certainly considerable issues currently. As previously mentioned, we’ve just seen the worst case scenario play out in Nevada and it looks like those rules in that state won’t be changing anytime soon.
Utilities currently have the power to make or break residential solar. The good news for homeowners across America is that this will not be the situation for long. Energy storage companies are starting to offer much more cost effective home energy storage systems. Solar plus affordable battery storage will be the real game changer.
In the coming years, it will become feasible for millions of homeowners to be largely energy self-reliant. What will happen then? How will our power companies try to prevent that from happening?
The answer is that they won’t be able to. If we truly do live in a free country, freedom of choice will be preserved. The power of monopolistic control will be removed. Much in the same way that old phone companies were not able to keep people using their landlines when cell phones arrived, the same will happen with solar plus storage.
The grid will be relegated to serving as some sort of back up service. Will the utilities be able to charge a ridiculously high fee as a back up energy provider to those still connected to the grid? Not likely at all. This would simply trigger mass grid defection.
Energy ownership through solar power and energy storage systems represents the largest economic opportunity since home ownership. This idea cannot be understated. A significant percentage of homeowners also owning the energy they require would add up to a massive transfer of wealth. This is the democratization of electricity. This is what is becoming possible through distributed solar power and battery systems. Many homeowners are going solar right now, knowing that they will be able to add battery back up systems in the near future.
There’s bound to be more pessimistic and short sighted news stories about solar. Just remember to consider the big picture, and it will be easy to be very optimistic about the future of solar power.