Our local electric grid is not up to the 21st century demands of EVs, more air conditioning requirements, heat pumps instead of natural gas furnaces, and rooftop solar. In general, we have plenty of power, especially with inexpensive electricity from solar and wind. But this power, often generated in remote locations hundreds of miles away from customers, is not getting to the homes and businesses that need it, resulting in issues with local grid reliability.
There are two solutions to modernizing overloaded local grids. The “business as usual” solution is to pay the local utility for upgrades that include bigger transformers, wiring, control systems and battery storage. Unfortunately, ratepayers get stuck with higher electric bills for these upgrades. A much better solution is to encourage homeowners and businesses to install their own solar and storage systems.
Rooftop solar systems already have paybacks in the 4-6 year range. And new battery storage technologies are coming down in price so rapidly that they make good economic sense in many locations. So if you have encountered any power failures recently at your home or business — and you are wondering what can be done about this problem — Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.