There’s a lot I agree, and disagree, with in this video :)
Smart panels are cool. I firmly believe this, but I also believe that they probably aren’t the right way to solve the limited electricity supply problem, at least not yet. The problem is cost. If a smart panel is $4,500+ just to buy it, ignoring installation costs, and moving from 100A to 200A service is around $2,500… We don’t need to be having this conversation. That’s a no brainer. Obviously, there are conditions where it’s not possible to do that, but even there, maybe a smart panel isn’t the right approach. Still very cool. That’s more of a niggle…
I like Net Metering (NM), some of that is because I have solar panels, and some of it is that is that it incentivizes sharing the electricity my panels produce. It’s not perfect, and at a certain scale, it probably doesn’t make a ton so sense, but in most places we aren’t there yet. I am also confident that we can’t let power companies solve this problem for us.
Left to their own devices, power utilities weren’t going to change. CA is a great e.g. of what can go wrong. Digging in a little to look at CA’s kWh cost, it makes sense for those who can afford it to do solar. Removing NM makes a strong argument for local storage, if you can afford it. The grid is cool, and it would be awesome to fix it properly. How do we do that when this public good is managed by private companies with a short term profit incentive and captive monopolistic pricing power? Short of nationalizing the grid and power generation to create a cohesive policy (which isn’t going to happen), I’m not sure there is an equitable solution. So maybe that’s not the right target. Renewables should make energy cheaper, but when left to the utilities that has not been the trend. Maybe we just need to figure out how to incentivize power companies to build tiered storage to make peaking issues less of a problem and keep installing solar panels where ever we can put them.