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Title: On the Feasibility, Cost, and Carbon Emissions of Grid Defection
Distributed solar generation is rising rapidly due to a continuing decline in the cost of solar modules. Nearly all of this solar generation feeds into the grid, since battery based energy storage is expensive to install and maintain. Unfortunately, accommodating unlimited intermittent solar power is challenging, since the grid must continuously balance supply and demand. Thus, governments and public utility commissions are increasingly limiting grid connections of new solar installations. These limitations are likely to become more restrictive over time in many areas as solar disrupts the utility business model. Thus, to employ solar without restrictions, users may increasingly need to defect from the grid. Unfortunately, batteries alone are unlikely to become cost-efficient at enabling grid defection for the foreseeable future. To address the problem, we explore using a mixture of solar, batteries, and a whole-home natural gas generator to shift users partially or entirely off the electric grid. We assess the feasibility and compare the cost and carbon emissions of such an approach with using grid power, as well as existing “net metered” solar installations. Our results show that the approach is trending towards cost-competitive based on current prices, reduces carbon emissions relative to using grid power, and enables more » users to install solar without restriction. « less
Award ID(s):
1645952 1405826 1534080
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
IEEE International Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids (SmartGridComm)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 7
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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