Wisconsin State Journal:
Wisconsin’s rooftops could support enough solar panels to meet two-thirds of the state’s electricity needs, generating more electricity than all fossil fuel sources combined last year.
Yet a new study predicts fewer than 2% of those panels are likely to be installed under current market conditions.
That’s because many people can’t afford the upfront costs of solar panels and lack financing options or don’t control their roofs — either because they rent or live in multifamily housing, according to a report released this week by the Public Service Commission.
Thefirst such investigation in more than a decade, the study by the consulting firm Cadmus could inform how regulators determine what utilities allow their customers to do and how they compensate them for excess electricity, as well as how to allocate resources within the state’s $100 million energy-saving program.
Bigger rebates, incentives and leasing options would reduce upfront costs, though the report concludes the most effective strategy for accelerating adoption is a statewide policy requiring utilities to offer “net metering,” in which customers are credited for any excess energy sent to the grid and billed only for their net electricity use.
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