ORIGINAL REPORTING: Research Shows Ongoing Need To Value Customer-Sited Resources
Research spotlight: Solar cost shift negligible, DER valuation efforts advancing slowly; New studies from LBNL and Rhodium detail the latest findings in distributed energy resource valuation
Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 10, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Recent results from proceedings across the country on DER valuation show it is a complex undertaking but policymakers and regulators continue to work at it.
Recent research into the cost and value of distributed resources details the relatively small rate impacts from distributed solar and allays concerns about the perceived cost shift. On the benefit side, it shows that distributed energy resources (DER) are not yet accurately valued, but could change the energy paradigm when they are. “What Is It Worth? The State of the Art in Valuing Distributed Energy Resources” assesses over 100 peer-reviewed papers on DER and concludes U.S. utility distribution systems but is not set up to properly value the grid services DER can provide. The result is that they are not valued at all or are valued in ways that don’t send the price signals needed to optimize their use…
“Putting the Potential Rate Impacts of Distributed Solar into Context” illustrates the point. State legislatures and regulatory commissions from Maine to California continue to debate the threat of a perceived shift of costs imposed by distributed solar owners on other utility customers. But the numbers show that in most cases, the effects of distributed solar on retail electricity prices are, and will continue to be, quite small compared to many other issues. Those concerned about a rate impact imposed by the skyrocketing growth of distributed solar should realize that even though solar is growing fast, most utilities will not get to even a 1% penetration by 2030. For utilities, commissions, and others concerned about keeping rates low, there are in most cases other areas that more significantly affect rates… click here for more