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Fossil fuel utilities in a “death spiral” as they fight solar energy: Nevada’s rapid increase in sun power

Dave Toke’s Blog 21st July 2017, Dramatic increase in Nevada solar output as big companies abandon utility
in favour of cheap renewables. Solar pv output in the US state of Nevada is
heading for a 60 per cent year-on-year increase in electricity output in
2017 compared to 2016 as Nevada increases its lead as the top US state for
installed solar pv per person.

Nevada, which is heading for getting 10 per
cent of its total electricity from solar pv in 2017 could be setting a
trend whereby business and residential consumers switch to solar simply
because it is the cheapest source of electricity. Of course it is very
sunny in Nevada – indeed a given solar panel will generate around twice as
much electricity per year in Nevada compared to Northern Europe.

But really what’s happening in Nevada is just an advanced guard for other places.
That’s because the costs of solar power continue to crash and so what is
happening in Nevada will happen in lots of other places very soon.

US monopoly electricity utilities are trying to fight back by charging fee
structures to consumers that reduce the benefits of installing solar pv.
But as much as they do that, the prospect of what are increasingly cheaper
battery systems to balance their load is making consumers more and more
independent from the conventional electricity generation and supply system.

Bill Ellard. a consultant for the US Solar Energy Society describes this as
a ‘death spiral’ for the US utilities. The more they fight solar, the more
expensive they become for consumers in general and the more people are
induced to go solar. Ellard favours developing more microgrid systems so
that energy requirements can be balanced more and more on a local level.


July 24, 2017 - Posted by | renewable, USA

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