My company is now "rescuing" some local government owned solar projects initially financed thru "securitized" (rated) bond instruments, now in trouble. We have also developed some proprietary insurance products to cover gaps in the solar O&M guaranties related to performance, which would be helpful in mitigating much of the O&M risk you have identified in your report. We are also developing standardized docs. I would like to be involved in your stake holder group to share and understand - pls let me know how. Thank you.
This discussion is long over due. There have been a lot of studies done by USDOE (about 19 years ago) and by EPRI that have put rationalized values of the the last kWh over the last mile - considering these studies as a part of this discussion would help.
There is also the price (cost) of reliability - the EDC's have an obligation to provide guaranteed service reliability in order that they can have their franchise. This number is something like 99.9%. Technically, if they fon't maintain this level of service, they could lose their franchise. As evidenced by the power outages on the ease coast (and the time to recover full service), the EDC's have to invest considerable dollars, which even if they do, will get paid by the rate payers. There isa cost effective alternative if distributed storage is incoporated, which can also provide for demand side management, and the associated benefits. No new battery technologies are needed to deliver an effective and affordable solaution.
I would like to suggest that this consideration be included in the net metering discussion.
Your fundamental notion that rather than talking about energy as a mere commodity, but asking the question energy for what, sheds a lot of clarity in our search for energy solutions. RE is more efficient all around relative to base line energy technologies when you approach energy planning and policy with this question in mind.
For example distributed solar electricity generation tied to specific services, for example delivering clean water, reliably is more cost effective and improves security.
In addition to (or instead of) spending money on strengthening the grid (particularly distribution) infrastructure, which is in bad shape, it will cost less money, less time and provide more security if distributed generation is included in the mix. This also needs involvement of the power distribution companies, ISO's and other non governmental entities.
This article is a wonderful starting point for an intelligent debate and planning for renewable energy policy in this country.