US Utilities seem to have come to the conclusion that Solar Power could ruin them.. David Roberts at grist.org writes;
Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence.
Interesting indeed.. The US utility companies seem to be feeling their own impending doom..
Wonder-boy Elon Musk however is quietly ahead of the game with Solar City. His company installs solar panels for FREE in the US, maintains them and lets people pay them off over five years. They imply this is still cheaper than paying utility rates. At the end of those five years you have the option to buy the system or to upgrade. But if you have the option between buying an obsoleted system or upgrading to a new system and still pay less than you would when you were paying the conventional utility companies, the choice is simple. Obviously, people would upgrade and keep paying SolarCity. Which also means the solar panels are still property of Solar City. Similar to the Sky dish system here in NZ, you don’t own the piece of equipment on your roof. It also means that while the Panels are company property, any energy generated and not used by the household, can be sold to the grid for pure profit..
Mr Musk has, very cleverly, created a company with distributed energy generation assets that the customer pays for over time. Essentially a 21st century utility company with a varying assets book.
It is the next gold rush… If I had money to invest, this is where I’d put it..