The rise of home solar with battery storage could cut utility power sales in the northeastern United States in half by 2030, according to a new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
“Residential and commercial customers who opt for alternatives to traditional, utility-supplied electricity could erode power sales in the region by as much as $34.8 billion,” Bloomberg reports. “Fewer kilowatt-hours sold to customers also will affect utilities’ abilities to raise the estimated $2 trillion that needs to be spent to maintain power grids between 2010 and 2030.”
“For owners and operators of central generation and transmission, our findings are likely bad news,” wrote RMI’s James Mandel and Leia Guccione. That means utilities need new business models to accommodate the rapid transformation in their sector.
Rooftop solar sales in the U.S. have grown 50% per year over the last three years, Chediak writes. “Utilities in some states have sought added fees from customers who generate their own power, saying the funds will support a grid to which users sell excess supply and upon which they rely when their own systems aren’t available.”