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Like the Star Trek Communicator and the actuation of strikingly similar looking cellphones, the future of solar is not as far off as it may sound. The solar energy we know now is about to change and it may affect you whether you were contemplating solar energy or it’s in the plan of your “future” home. How solar power exchanged through the grid currently is called NEM (net energy metering). We are just 1.21% off from what is called NEM 2.O. With NEM, there is an even retail cost exchange for grid electricity used and solar electricity produced that goes back to the grid. That is why having a solar electric system can produce a net zero bill.
When the amount of the grid that uses solar reaches 5%, (follow NEM Cap Progress progress) NEM will convert to NEM 2.0. The change is eminent and while a clear NEM 2.0 has not been defined, SDG&E has proposed a lopsided credit system where overproduction sent back to the grid is credited at mere 4 cents per kW while continuing to charge retail rates for usage. This will eliminate the cost benefit of solar almost completely. If this happens, the solar industry will need to use Advanced Energy Storage and eliminate SDG&E all together!
One way to avoid the loss of cost advantage is to get grandfathered in before we hit that 5%. The alternative is solar systems will become fused with Advanced Energy Storage. Systems would still be grid tied however, the future systems will store enough power to not need, the grid. The pricing of future systems may appear retro as they’ll mirror solar pricing at the advent of the solar gold rush. For more on NEM2.O or Advanced Energy Storage, visit www.NEM2.info
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