Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Bloomberg posted an article today called "Why Elon Musk's Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company." The article mentions that Morgan Stanley analysts came to the same conclusion that I did when I was trading emails with the executives at my local electrical coop. "In a July report, Morgan Stanley said Tesla’s home and business energy-storage product could be 'disruptive' in the U.S. and in Europe as customers seek to avoid utility fees by going 'off-grid,'" they said. Why would American households want to go off-grid? It's not so much that we want to, as that our utility providers are doing everything possible to drag their feet on implementing net-metering so that we can deploy solar and wind systems to bring down our dependence on fossil fuels. Some utilities have even gone so far as to jack up the rates of all the neighbors of a solar user, and then tell them it's the solar user's fault. True story.
The article also says “'The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose' comes from systems that include storage, said Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Snowmass, Colorado-based energy consultant. 'That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide.'” Really, it would be better for customers if they were able to partner with their local utilities. It would be better for the utilities too, in the long run. The question is, can we get them to think about the long run?