Distributed is the key phrase for the future generation of the electricity grid. Unfortunately the electricity providers are facing the biggest problem since their formation and they are trapped between becoming obsolete on the one hand and slowing renewable energy growth on the other. The next round in the ongoing battle “Rooftop Solar vs. Utilities” found in Forbes:
With the demand for energy expected to rise in the coming years, the grid would have to grow along with it. But if increasing numbers of people “unplug” from their local utilities, then the cost of that expansion would fall on a fewer number of customers.
Rooftop solar customers want to pay as little as possible to remain minimally connected to the grid while they want to receive the full retail rate for the power that they sell back to utilities. Utilities, meanwhile, want more money from homeowners to maintain the networks and they only want to pay homeowners the wholesale cost of the power they send back to them through those same wires.
Electricity grid expansion and onsite generation are inherently in conflict. But the reality is that both technologies are vital to the national economic and environmental aspirations. The Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council understand this. Now it is a function of a getting others to recognize the importance of both ideas, especially rooftop solar users