An article in yesterday’s New York Times discusses an oft-ignored consequence of increasing solar power. In California, net metering gives small scale solar and wind users to receive credit for their use. The problem is that utilities may currently accept a maximum of 2.5% of their energy from net metering customers. Unless this cap is raised, solar will face a ceiling. But more solar power may destabilize the electrical grid and increase costs to other customers.
What does this mean? The existing grid is incapable of accepting more energy from renewable sources. This dilemma has implications for upgrading the grid, as well efforts to implement dynamic pricing for electricity. We will be paying attention to these issues going forward.