Democratizing the Electricity System                A Vote for Local Solar                       John Farrell, Director   ...
ILSR’s Unique Perspective  Yesterday                                         Tomorrow Centralized Power                   ...
Enormous Solar Potential
Enormous Solar PotentialRooftops Alone                 Most states could get 20%
Solar Fits AnywhereU.S.                            10%                              Highway100%                           ...
Overview• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers are surmounta...
Retail Electricity PriceState average residential retail rate
Solar Cost : Grid Price$4.25/W- 30% ITC ÷25 yrs. v.      avg.               residential               retail rate
Solar Cost : Grid Price$4.25/W                avg. residential- 30% ITC                retail rate                        ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%                      50% or better                      95% to 105% ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%      57 million                      50% or better                  ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%                      50% or better                      95% to 105% ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%                      50% or better                      95% to 105% ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%                      50% or better                      95% to 105% ...
Solar Cost : Grid Price-7%                        +2%       167 million                      50% or better                ...
Value of Local Solar                               Electricity                        •avoided cost10 cents               ...
Value of Local Solar                            Grid Benefits                              •avoided cost10 cents           ...
Value of Local Solar                       Social Benefits                              •avoided cost10 cents              ...
Value of Local Solar     Example: Grid Benefits    $0.15                           6 cents per kWh    $0.12                ...
Part 3: Scale• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers are surm...
Economies of Scale$10.00                                                                         2009                     ...
Economies of Scale$10.00                                                                   2009                           ...
Small PV is Fast (SEPA)• PV projects...have much shorter planning  horizons and project completion times,  along with less...
Germany: Boots on Roofs      3 gigawatts in 200980%
Part 4: Barriers?• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers can ...
Barriers?                 Distribution Grid            • Utilities in California (and elsewhere)              generally ag...
Barriers?                            Intermittency  Geographic Dispersion Lowers Solar Backup Costs                       ...
Barriers?            Sun is predictable
Barriers?            Weather is too
Barriers?            Weather is too      Nov. 10, 2011      BOULDER, Colo.      Advanced Wind Forecasts Save      Millions...
Part 5: Policy• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers can mat...
Solar Policy Matters                         Local Benefits     Local Ownership Boosts Impact of Renewables     Economic De...
Solar Policy Matters                        Public SupportNo local ownership          60% negative   Local ownership      ...
Solar Policy Matters                 Political Support                       2 kilowatts                       2 VOTERS
Solar Policy MattersProblems with Tax Incentives                           I want you                       if you have ta...
Solar Policy Matters                       Roadblocks
Solar Policy Matters                       Roadblocks
Solar Policy MattersOwnership = Market Security
The Future...  Yesterday                                         Tomorrow Centralized Power                               ...
Thank you!John Farrell  energyselfreliantstates.org  jfarrell@ilsr.org  johnffarrell  612-276-3456 x210
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Democratizing the Electricity System: A Vote for Local Solar

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A presentation on the opportunity and benefits of expanding local, distributed solar power in the United States. Delivered to the MDV-SEIA Solar Energy Focus conference on Nov. 18, 2011 by John Farrell, Senior Research at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

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Democratizing the Electricity System: A Vote for Local Solar

  1. 1. Democratizing the Electricity System A Vote for Local Solar John Farrell, Director Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program jfarrell@ilsr.org 612.276.3456 x210 Presentation on Nov. 18, 2011
  2. 2. ILSR’s Unique Perspective Yesterday Tomorrow Centralized Power Clean, local power Solar PV power plant Storage Storage Transmission network Storage Storage House Local CHP plant Distribution network House with domestic CHP Wind powerFactory Commercial plant building
  3. 3. Enormous Solar Potential
  4. 4. Enormous Solar PotentialRooftops Alone Most states could get 20%
  5. 5. Solar Fits AnywhereU.S. 10% Highway100% ROW Parking1% lots Transmission4% ROW The U.S. could get 100%
  6. 6. Overview• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers are surmountable• Policies (do) matter
  7. 7. Retail Electricity PriceState average residential retail rate
  8. 8. Solar Cost : Grid Price$4.25/W- 30% ITC ÷25 yrs. v. avg. residential retail rate
  9. 9. Solar Cost : Grid Price$4.25/W avg. residential- 30% ITC retail rate 50% or better 95% to 105% 2011 1 state 150% or more
  10. 10. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 50% or better 95% to 105% 2012 3 states 150% or more
  11. 11. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 57 million 50% or better 95% to 105% 2012 3 states 150% or more
  12. 12. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 50% or better 95% to 105% 2013 7 states 150% or more
  13. 13. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 50% or better 95% to 105% 2014 11 states 150% or more
  14. 14. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 50% or better 95% to 105% 2015 18 states 150% or more
  15. 15. Solar Cost : Grid Price-7% +2% 167 million 50% or better 95% to 105% 2016 22 states 150% or more
  16. 16. Value of Local Solar Electricity •avoided cost10 cents •on-site/near demand $4.25/W •lower transmission losses 5 cents •reduce dist. system stress 0 cents •hedge against fuel prices •prevent blackouts -5 cents •reduce pollution-10 cents 20 cents •create jobs-15 cents 4 cents-20 cents Cost Energy value Grid benefits Social benefits Report: Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain?
  17. 17. Value of Local Solar Grid Benefits •avoided cost10 cents •on-site/near demand •lower transmission losses 5 cents •reduce dist. system stress 0 cents •hedge against fuel prices •prevent blackouts -5 cents •reduce pollution-10 cents 20 cents •create jobs 8.5 cents-15 cents 4 cents-20 cents Cost Energy value Grid benefits Social benefits Report: Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain?
  18. 18. Value of Local Solar Social Benefits •avoided cost10 cents •on-site/near demand •lower transmission losses 5 cents •reduce dist. system stress 0 cents •hedge against fuel prices 12.5 cents •prevent blackouts -5 cents •reduce pollution-10 cents $4.25/W •create jobs 8.5 cents-15 cents 4 cents-20 cents Cost Energy value Grid benefits Social benefits Report: Solar Power Generation in the US: Too expensive, or a bargain?
  19. 19. Value of Local Solar Example: Grid Benefits $0.15 6 cents per kWh $0.12 in addition to electricity $0.09 $0.06 Additional local value Avoided transmission access $0.03 Environmental Time-of-delivery Avoided cost $0 Palo Alto, CA, municipal utility
  20. 20. Part 3: Scale• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers are surmountable• Policies (do) matter
  21. 21. Economies of Scale$10.00 2009 2010 $7.50 $5.00 $4.25 Installed cost per Watt $3.75 $2.50 $0 Under 2 kW 5-10 30-100 250-500 over 1000 kW Lawrence Berkeley Labs: Tracking the Sun IV
  22. 22. Economies of Scale$10.00 2009 2010 $7.50 $5.00 Installed cost per Watt $2.50 $0 Under 2 kW 5-10 30-100 250-500 over 1000 kW Lawrence Berkeley Labs: Tracking the Sun IV
  23. 23. Small PV is Fast (SEPA)• PV projects...have much shorter planning horizons and project completion times, along with lesser siting, permitting, financing and transmission requirements at these small- and medium-sized scales.• Larger PV and CSP projects (those greater FERC than 50 MW) require overcoming financing, siting/permitting, and transmission barriers that might emerge at these larger sizes.
  24. 24. Germany: Boots on Roofs 3 gigawatts in 200980%
  25. 25. Part 4: Barriers?• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers can matter• Policies (do) matter
  26. 26. Barriers? Distribution Grid • Utilities in California (and elsewhere) generally agree that 15% distributed ?? generation on a local distribution circuit is the threshold for any problems. 15 • Many places (Nevada, Hawaii, elsewhere) are already beyond the minimum. Democratizing the Electricity System (ILSR, 2011)
  27. 27. Barriers? Intermittency Geographic Dispersion Lowers Solar Backup Costs $0.04 $0.04 $0.03 $ per kWh $0.02 $0.01 $0.01 $0.00 $0 1 location 5 locations 25 locations Implications of Wide-Area Geographic Diversity for Short- Term Variability of Solar Power (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
  28. 28. Barriers? Sun is predictable
  29. 29. Barriers? Weather is too
  30. 30. Barriers? Weather is too Nov. 10, 2011 BOULDER, Colo. Advanced Wind Forecasts Save Millions of Dollars for Xcel Energy
  31. 31. Part 5: Policy• Electricity system in transition• Economics of distributed solar• Scale (doesn’t) matter• Barriers can matter• Policies (do) matter
  32. 32. Solar Policy Matters Local Benefits Local Ownership Boosts Impact of Renewables Economic Development Impacts of Community Wind Projects: A Review and Empirical Evaluation (NREL)
  33. 33. Solar Policy Matters Public SupportNo local ownership 60% negative Local ownership 45% positive 0 25 50 75 100 very negative negative neutral positive very positive Attitude towards increased use of local wind energy
  34. 34. Solar Policy Matters Political Support 2 kilowatts 2 VOTERS
  35. 35. Solar Policy MattersProblems with Tax Incentives I want you if you have taxable income City School Cooperative Non-profit
  36. 36. Solar Policy Matters Roadblocks
  37. 37. Solar Policy Matters Roadblocks
  38. 38. Solar Policy MattersOwnership = Market Security
  39. 39. The Future... Yesterday Tomorrow Centralized Power Clean, local power Solar PV power plant Storage Storage Transmission network Storage Storage House Local CHP plant Distribution network House with domestic CHP Wind powerFactory Commercial plant building
  40. 40. Thank you!John Farrell energyselfreliantstates.org jfarrell@ilsr.org johnffarrell 612-276-3456 x210
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