Words to live by - thanks, Tor - I'm Solar Spartacus!
Run on Sun is onboard - here's our blog post highlighting SCE's response to the video:
And we will be writing (lots) more about net metering in the coming months.
The article asserts: "The U.S. accounted for nearly 75 percent of the shipments IHS recorded prior to 2013, but in many states the residential market for microinverters is approaching saturation." I have no idea where IHS gets that notion, and sadly the reporter didn't ask.
California is the largest solar market in the US and based on our analysis of CSI data, there is no aspect of this market that is "approaching saturation", let alone the market for microinverters, specifically Enphase Energy's products. Would love to know the basis for that claim.
Here's a link to our analysis:
My only concern as the owner of a small solar power company is that utilities tend to have monopoly status in their service areas. If they are going to get into the solar business at the customer level, that status gives them an unfair advantage.
The comparison to the old Bell System is apt - the only way things changed was for the system to be broken up and the monolithic structure abandoned. It was a scary prospect at the time - I was a MTS at Bell Labs up until the year before divestiture - but it was the right thing to do.
If we are really going to change utility business models and allow competition to drive progress, their structure must change as well.
And don't for a second think PG&E doesn't know this - which is why they have effectively declared war on net metering:
Interesting to note that Duke sees this as a short term opportunity but a long term threat. In contrast, PG&E just sees threat: http://runonsun.com/~runons5/blogs/blog1.php/solnews/its-on-pge-declares-war-solar
What is lacking is for either of these companies (or any IOU for that matter) to see the long-term opportunity. But adapt they must, or cease to exist.
Good points, all, but I would like to focus on the last. We really cannot give our enemies more ammunition by our own poor behavior. They will be all over the next "scandal" just as they were with poor Solyndra. It will be worse if it is a true scandal, brought about by greed or other bad conduct in the industry.
The SEIA-authored Solar Bill of Rights calls on us to provide the "highest ethical treatment" to our clients and fellow taxpayers. We should re-commit to those words in 2013.
First, thanks for spreading the word about this "poll" - as of now 2:30 PDT on Thursday) we are leading by nearly 1,000 votes: 5,300 to 4,363. Oddly, the "remain the same" and "they should decline" options are way smaller vote totals: 772 vs 488 respectively. Polarized voting yet again!
I absolutely agree that we need to preach to our opponents if for no other reason than to keep ourselves grounded and our arguments constantly vetted. Moreover, the people we most need to convince never visit the venues where our choir mostly hangs out - they are the "swing voter" who may lean against supporting solar or renewables generally, but they don't have a lot of information. We could be the only pro-solar voices they hear.
And remember, those people vote and elections have consequences. Will they vote for someone who mocked the threat of climate change or someone who embraces policies to combat it? We might just make a difference by adding our reasoned arguments to the mix.
But of course we don't need to choose just one or the other. We can put out our own information, in our own fora. that presents the facts as clearly as possible and in a way that welcomes skeptics as well as supporters. Surely you do that in your posts regularly.
Steve - I have to disagree with your comments in the strongest way. I don't know about what you see in Colorado, but here in SoCal I've seen way too many shoddy installs foisted on homeowners who had no way to know what they would be getting for their hard-earned dollars.
NABCEP isn't perfect - no such regime is - but it gives consumers a way to determine in advance whether someone's claims about knowing how to do the job right is backed by an independent third party, or is just the puffing of some salesperson.
We were able to get all three of our owners - including myself - certified with a minimal amount of hassle. We had the background (although each of us qualified in a different manner), we had done the work, and we managed to ace the exam the first time out.
What will set the industry back is having sub-standard, slap-dash installs done that end up damaging property or injuring people. Having NABCEP certified installers on the job goes a long way toward avoiding those potential setbacks.
Jim Jenal, NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer
Using social media for solar does take time and effort. But I can tell you that there are few things more gratifying then speaking to a potential client who tells you that they already know about an issue because they read it on your blog!
Solar companies need to realize that education is a key part of what we do and being an informative presence through social media is a key way to making that happen.
Thanks, as always, SolarFred for illuminating the way!
While I have been writing (and lobbying) about SB 843 (blog posts here: http://runonsun.com/~runons5/blogs/blog1.php/solecon/power-to-people-support-sb843) I am not as confident that it will make it into law this year. Southern California Edison remains staunchly opposed, the CPUC has its own doubts, and when it got voted out of the Appropriations committee, not a single Republican VOTED on the bill. I don't mean they voted against it, I mean they refused to vote at all!
Also, the utilities point to the grid as a reason for resisting the proliferation of solar farms. It is almost as if keeping the grid obsolete and creaky is a means of preserving market share - and how perverse is that?
But as always, the answer is education - the more consumers know about the true value proposition for solar, the more support we in the industry will have from the public and that will ultimately be translated into political clout. Only then will we achieve the growth in solar that we are hoping to see.