ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
The maps that show where the action is on solar policy; Spoiler: It's everywhere
Herman K. Trabish, March 22, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Since this story ran, the growth of solar policy fights has accelerated.
One stat is all it takes: 46 of the 50 states had solar policy debates going on in 2015. That makes solar literally the talk of the nation. Regulators, utilities, solar providers and other stakeholders have been wrestling to find the proper valuation, aggregation and ownership models for the fast-growing renewable resource. There is a trend away from Net Energy Metering and another toward proposals for high fixed charge increases.
The 50 States of Solar; 2015 Policy Review breaks down the year's developments into five key categories: Net Metering: 27 states considered changes to how solar owners are compensated for energy their systems send back to the grid…Fixed Charges: 61 utilities in 30 states proposed monthly fixed charge increases, and 21 utilities in 13 states propose new or increased existing charges specific to rooftop solar customers…Value of Solar: 24 states undertook studies to better define the value of solar and other distributed energy resources (DERs), expected to influence the future of NEM and the design of successor tariffs…Community solar: 7 states advanced policies on community solar, including the resolution of Xcel Energy's concerns over a Minnesota program with a current queue of 1,500 applications representing over 1,400 MW of new capacity…and Solar Ownership: 5 states considered utility ownership of rooftop solar and 6 faced debates on third-party ownership (TPO), including legislation making Georgia the first southeastern state to allow the practice. From net metering to 'net billing'... click here for more