Self-Consumption PV Systems: Page 9 of 10

Grid defection is happening on a small scale. Now that the storage technology exists to increase self-consumption, customers have greater control over their energy choices. In certain markets such as Hawaii, self-consumption will increase because the right technology and tariff structures exist. In addition, smart storage in combination with solar generation allows customers a real option to go completely off grid in regions where grid services are cost-prohibitive or unavailable.

Greg Smith, sonnen

Self-consumption works for some consumers but not for others. So many factors affect that decision, which is driven largely by economic considerations but also by practicality and reliability. There will be an increased deployment of intelligent systems that can be effectively aggregated into virtual power plants and that offer economic benefits and increased reliability on both sides of the meter. These systems will become an important factor in the self-consumption decision.

Stu Statman, Sunverge Energy

OutBack has been successfully enabling grid defection for 15 years, and this is a large and growing portion of our market. The economics and benefits of energy independence have never been better; and as utilities increasingly rely on penalizing solar with minimum bills and access charges, we see customers doing the math and cutting the cord.

Philip Undercuffler, OutBack Power Technologies

Grid defection will almost certainly increase as a result of new technology and lower system costs, but it will still be limited to a small group of individuals. While some are able to accept the more modest lifestyle required for grid defection, most US consumers would not compromise. The most likely markets to see some rise in grid defection are Hawaii (among other island markets) and other areas of the US where the electricity rates are steadily increasing, such as California and Arizona.

Martin Volkmar, SMA Solar Technology

How will the US market for self-consumption PV systems, and the equipment used in these systems, evolve over the next 5 years?

It’s impossible to tell since it is driven by utility decisions that are difficult to predict and system costs that are experiencing a downward trend. If utilities continue to create environments that promote self-consumption instead of reasonable grid energy exchange, and energy storage costs continue to decline, the number of consumers who choose to install these systems will increase.

Marvin Hamon, PE, Hamon Engineering

The next 5 years will be a time of rapid development in integration and ease of deployment of plug-and-play smart meters; smart hybrid inverters; battery banks that are modular, safe and robust; and networked appliances and home controls. Software will offer intuitive visualization and insight into real-time market signals that allow prosumers to participate fully in supporting and receiving benefits from the networked smart grid.

Wes Kennedy, Fronius USA

We will see one state after another move away from NEM and to a rate structure that encourages self-consumption.

Neil Maguire, JuiceBox

The last few years have seen a decline in battery and PV product prices and an increase in smart inverter capabilities. This allows smart energy management both on a micro level for individual households and at a macro level for the utilities. If this trend continues, evolving technologies and grid requirements will make many new financial models possible, self-consumption being one of them.

Peter Mathews, SolarEdge

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