Thursday, January 17, 2013

Distributed Solar


 For almost 10 years, I've advocated at the Iowa State legislature for better distributed generation policy. In that timeframe, lawmakers have done little but enact small incentive programs. We still lack standard interconnection procedures, and a state feed in tariff program that would extend a fair price for electricity sales to Distributed generation (DG).

In fact, The Iowa legislature has done little of significance on this issue since they enacted Net Metering in 1985. Only the states investor owned utilities are required to offer net metering, not rural electric coops or municipal utilities.
The utility lobby has opposed any legislation favorable to DG. They spend a lot of time telling legislators that customer owned generation will raise electric rates and shift unfair costs to ratepayers. 

However, information is starting to surface that shows DG has numerous cost benefits to ratepayers. An article about a California study points to numerous consumer benefits. In fact, some are starting to project that German ratepayers will have lower electric rates than United States ratepayers in a few years.

Germany, who has an aggressive DG program shows incredible time of day electric rate savings, When the sun comes up, the price of electricity plummets, showing great peak electric cost savings for electric customers.

Iowa legislators like to claim we lead in renewable energy. It’s time to ignore the disinformation the utility lobby provides them,  live up to that claim, and pass DG legislation.                     

1 comment:

  1. Good to see this blog after reading you at Bleedingheartland. All I have to do now is read all the back posts. I look forward to more on distributed solar especially since I'm about to install my own, also in Pocahontas County.