Solar PV a threat to IOU utility business models – report


This is based upon findings from International ratings agency, Fitch Ratings, which takes into account the installation of solar PV between 2005 and 2015 in the US.

In 2015 alone, the sector recorded a 55% annual increase in installations. The increase in the deployment of solar PV is a result of a decline in cost and tax subsidies.

The ability of net metering to provide residential consumers with excess revenue through the sale of excess power generated from their solar arrays, to their utilities, has also allowed a growth of the market.

[quote] Apart from the rise in PV adoption, the segment is currently representing 1% of the total power production in the US.

According to Fitch Ratings, the the challenge currently restraining the solar PV sector is the lack of regulation to lower the cost of the systems for non-NEM customers.

The firm recommends Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) and regulators design new tariff charges including a large fixed charge component to sustain their operations in line with the growing adoption of distributed generation resources.

Failure to modify the tariff system will result in a decrease in adoption of residential solar PV due to rising monthly bills for non-NEM customers incentivising them to acquire the systems, states Fitch Ratings.

The firm states that IOUs should consider avoiding the impacts of emerging technologies enabling customers to permanently disconnect from the grid, however low, for their sustainability. [S&C Electric procures energy storage system for solar project].

Solar pv systems in the US

In mid-May, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) secured $1.1m in funding from the Department of Energy (DoE) to accelerate adoption of solar PV systems.

The capital will be channelled to the organisation through the DoE’s SunShot Initiative which aims to accelerate the adoption of solar energy in a cost-effective manner.

In a combined statement, NABCEP, a renewable energy consulting and accreditation company said it will use the money to improve its existing certification programmes in line with trends taking shape in the solar industry.

The capital will also be used for the firm’s 2017 launch of three new certifications for professionals in the PV system design, installation and maintenance to help define personnel standards as well as fill a gap in sector’s workforce standards. [PG&E and SolarCity partner to boost grid stability].

However, the majority of the funding will be used to upgrade the company’s PV Installation Professional Certification and the Foundational Task Analysis.