More affordable energy storage options means residential solar power is becoming a bigger threat to America’s electric utilities, according to an article in Business Insider. According to the article, Barclays “is downgrading its electric sector rating to ‘underweight’ from ‘market weight’” to reflect this shift. Net-metering homeowners have typically relied on utility electricity for power needed beyond what they generate at the time of demand. However, in the past five years, the price of a solar-charged battery to store excess power has dropped dramatically — from about $17,000 to around $3,700 — making it more likely that consumers could store power for later use. Ohio’s net metering law may not allow for such battery storage; Ohio requires net-metering consumers to use a bidirectional meter so that excess energy generated will flow back to the grid.
Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electric distribution utilities and electric service companies to obtain a certain percentage of power supplied from renewable sources, including 0.5% from solar by 2024. However, SB 310, which recently went to Governor Kasich’s desk for his signature (read our June 6, 2014 blog post about this) would eliminate the requirement that at least half of Ohio’s required renewable energy be obtained from within the state.
For more, read the complete Business Insider article.