Solar industry weighs potential for distributed generation

One lingering question for the solar energy industry continues to be whether distributed generation will be a more common model than large-scale projects.

A Reuters report notes that Southern California Edison is one utility that has unveiled a distributed generation program involving solar roof arrays in its service area, although the plan is still seen as more costly than a large-scale solar project. Under the SCE program, photovoltaic panels placed on 300 rooftops are expected to generate about 500 megawatts of power.

However, the wire service cites local opposition and difficulties with power transmission infrastructure as two factors that could work against large-scale projects meeting their full potential in the coming years.

Distributed solar involves placing photovoltaic panels on individual homes and commercial buildings to help supplement local power needs, as opposed to large facilities that generate power for thousands of buildings at once.

Some companies have been announcing various steps forward that have the potential to make the cost of solar more competitive with fossil fuels, which combined with state and federal tax credits suggest the future for both aspects of the industry remains bright.

Author: Tom Staples

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Posted in: Solar Energy

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