Victory in the economic realm (increasingly the case with solar, solar-plus-storage and wind) is no guarantee of market victory if the regulations are stacked against renewables.
The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.
A high level of distributed solar in Indiana would reduce utility costs by up to $540 million per year, a national lab has found. Fair compensation for rooftop solar power in southern Indiana would be 13¢/kWh, an expert calculated—not the 3¢/kWh proposed by a utility.
Catholic organizations own up to 100,000 buildings in the U.S., as well as land, and Catholic Energies is helping them go solar. “The market is enormous,” said the program’s leader.
A lower-cost grid would reach 22% renewable generation in 2040, compared to the 5% currently planned by Southeastern utilities, says a study from Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy. Wholesale power trading through an independent system operator would also help reduce costs.
The utilities that buy power from TVA, and the 10 million people they serve, will be limited in accessing low-cost solar power unless a federal court invalidates what a lawsuit calls TVA’s “never-ending contracts.” Three citizens’ groups brought the lawsuit, claiming TVA violated a federal environmental law.
States like California whose laws say residential rooftop solar must be “intended primarily” for self-consumption could join Washington, D.C. in increasing their limit, says D.C. resident David Roodman. Generation in excess of consumption will be compensated at the wholesale rate in Washington.
If Congress wants to increase transmission of renewable power from high-resource areas to high-population areas, a report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission provides a roadmap. Co-locating transmission with highways is the greatest challenge.
The Texas grid operator has more than tripled its pace of completing utility-scale solar interconnection studies since 2019. Yet the battery backlog continues to grow.
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