Power Utilities Scared Of Solar Panels

Expected Consumer BehaviorExpected Consumer Behavior

In a surprisingly frank report, a group of US power utilities published a report late last year that spells the doom that the industry sees coming if people keep turning to solar panels and other reusable power sources. The report went mostly unnoticed until a blog picked it up. In it, we hear some of the fears that the power utilities have from this increased usage of solar panels. In an industry that has remained unchanged for so many years, this is the first time when their business model could actually be threatened in a serious way.

In recent years, the cost of solar panels has gone down, so has installation fees while the efficiency of these panels has gone up. This mix means that the resulting consumer behavior is to see panels not only as a backup source, but as their primary power source. More and more homes are installing solar panels on top of their roofs, and there will come a point in the near future where the effectiveness will be high enough where most of the power that comes through will be enough to sustain a typical family home, with the grid only being used for backup.

The report spells out some of the things that will be needed for this to happen, like the combination of these panels with batteries and power management systems, and the improvement of micro turbines. The report also makes the link with the telephone system, where few would have predicted a decade ago that land lines would become endangered as people move to cell phones as their primary form of communication. It could well be that in 10 years, we start seeing a shift where people producing their own energy with solar panels, wind turbines and micro generators would be the norm.