German, U.S. Home Energy Storage Incentives Offer Divergent Visions for the Smart Grid | Plugged In, Scientific American Blog Network

In the United States it’s a different story. Solar power generated by electricity customers is typically either “net metered” or paid a “value-of-solar” tariff. Under a net metering rate, produced solar energy essentially rolls the electric meter backwards, i.e. it is valued at exactly the price of retail electricity. Value-of-solar tariffs pay for solar at a rate calculated based on its overall environmental and system benefits. Rates calculated by Minnesota’s Public Utility Commission (14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour) and Austin’s municipal electric utility (12.8 cents per kilowatt-hour) both exceed retail energy rates. Under both of these solar tariffs, the economic decision is to send solar electricity directly into the grid, rather than save it for later use in the home.


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