Will Solar Rooftop model disrupt Utility model?

As the Indian State Governments encourage solar rooftop for captive and net-metering models; Utilities are trying to understand the kind of impact the rooftop model will have on their business.

 

As consumers themselves become power producers and adopt energy efficiency models to decrease their electricity consumption from the grid, what kind of business scenario will this create for utilities?

 

An interesting update from Australia; source: http://reneweconomy.com.au.

 

Queensland electricity network operator Energex has conceded that its century-old business model is under threat from the increased use of rooftop solar, and a growing interest among its 1.3 million consumers to produce and manage their own energy needs.

 

This was included in the company’s annual report of 2013.  The report noted that despite the huge population growth in south-east Queensland, demand from residential customers fell 3.8 per cent in 2012/13 from a year earlier. Over the past four years, Energex says residential demand has fallen 10.4 per cent in south-east Queensland, one of the areas with the highest penetration of rooftop solar in Australia. Energex cited rooftop solar PV as the main factor for this reduced demand, along with milder winters and summers, and the use of more energy-efficient appliances.

 

“The rapidly evolving energy industry, changing energy use patterns and rising electricity prices are resulting in a trend toward energy management options for customers,” the company says in its annual report. “As energy management options such as smart appliances, energy management software, in-home generation and battery storage become more available and affordable, we expect to see a significant change in the way customers use energy and our network.

“This will have wide-ranging implications for the way the distribution network is planned, built and operated, as well as for our ongoing business sustainability.”

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This is not only being experience in Queensland alone but other cities and countries bringing to life the “democratisation” of energy via solar PV and other forms of distributed energy.

 

Now utilities would have to develop a new business model, one modeled around solar and storage, rather than the traditional model of centralised generation.

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2 Responses to Will Solar Rooftop model disrupt Utility model?

  1. As long as the Govt. keeps subsidizing grid power heavily, I don’t think solar PV will make much of a dent into the utility business in India.

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    • I agree to this. And this is where the loop begins/ends….too much subsidies are financially killing the discoms; which is why the discoms are not keen to buy expensive power.
      At the other hand, the government is focusing on building more power plants.

      Meanwhile, the government is also looking to financially restructure the discoms. As a consequence, discoms are also slowing increasing power traffics across the country.

      Industries are already looking at solar captive or third party renewable energy options.

      The economics will surely play a role in changing the subsidies pattern sooner or later.

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