What are some of the main innovations taking place in terms of policies for distributed solar (i.e. rooftop or customer-sited solar), both in the U.S. and around the world?
Taking a step back, the overall trend here is away from full retail rate compensation toward options that are below the retail rate. Lots of markets are using either avoided costs, or wholesale market prices (real-time, or monthly averages) to set the rate for surplus generation, providing a market-based price that can settle surpluses. A key difference is ultimately whether the surplus can only be used to offset consumption “within” one’s power bill (current, or future), or whether it’s possible, as a DPV system owner, to get a check in the mail (or a direct bank transfer) for the surplus generation. While DPV policies started mainly under Net Metering (which only allows settling within the bill, and doesn’t actually pay for surplus generation), policy frameworks are already starting to evolve toward allowing cash payment, where you can actually get paid for your surplus. This is the case in Australia, in Vietnam, in the Philippines, as well as in markets throughout Europe like Germany, Croatia, and Greece. Direct market sales (usually via brokers) are also starting to emerge in countries like Serbia, and Bosnia. Another pathway emerging is so-called “peer-to-peer” power trading, or power sharing, where surplus generation can be sold directly onto neighbors (e.g. within the same feeder). This is also likely to grow in the years ahead as the grid gets smarter, and the digital and billing infrastructure for this kind of grid usage is laid. Check out our recent report series on DPV for more: https://www.e3analytics.eu/ Hope this helps! Toby