Paula Mints’ paper “The Solar PV Shipment Shell Game” is excellent and provides exact and needed data and information which is the usual hallmark of her articles. In Figure 1 she provides an indication of the amount of the “2013 defective Modules”, the metrics of which until now I have not seen anywhere. Knowing the accuracy of Mints’ data her conclusions expressed in her last chapter “Where do you want to go?” should be taken seriously. It is basically summarized in the last sentence in which she says: “…the PV industry should exert tight controls on both quality and representations…”. With this she brings back the word “quality” which was extinguished by the PV industry from the dictionary about 15 years ago and which was by its customers lately replaced by the word “bankability”.
Scott, yours is an extremely well researched paper, considering, that there are 2369 utilities in the USA, and to obtain the information you were able to present is not very easy as indicated that in January 2013 the utility solar rankings survey was sent out by SEPA to about 400 utilities in the USA and from the total only 265 utilities responded. The Edison Electric Institute (www.eei.org) issued a report in January 2013, entitled: “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business”, but as you observe, utilities have much more to worry about and it would be good for them if they would read and consider seriously your very well documented paper. Your paper is a much needed beginning to find out from a very hazy crystal ball what will happen to the large number of US utilities regulated by a much bigger number of entities. As the paper in a previous issue of Renewable Energy News indicates: “The future of the large German utilities: it’s already here”. The four largest German utilities supplying 80% of the German electricity market, started to lose money and all four turned “green”.
It looks like this article was assembled by people and people were interviewed who seem not to be up to date on what is happening in the world. They could get more insight of what may happen with utilities by reading: ”The future of the large German utilities: it’s already here” (http://www.energypost.eu – November 11, 2013), which describes why the four largest German utilities, having an 80% market share, turned suddenly green and selling PV systems and offering also electricity storage systems to their customers and telling them to be independent. As of the USA they should read the Edison Electric Institute (which is the association of U.S. shareholders owned electric companies) report issued in January 2013, entitled: “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business.” (http://www.eei.org/ourissues/finance/Documents/disruptivechallenges.pdf). Which sounds like tocsin. As of the USA there are 3,269 utilities. Is it possible that at present they may have 3,269 business models?