How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

Bruce Mountain observes in the Comments that Australia already is experiencing deep solar penetration, but is not find extensive disruptions in the distribution networks.

Growth in the residential solar market continues apace. In the United States, residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11 percent over the previous quarter:

q1-2015-install

Source: http://www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

The figure  illustrates this impressive growth rate (in dark blue). However, this is growth on a very small base. By my crude calculations, less than half a percent of American households currently have solar panels on their roof.[1]

In those states where residential solar is starting to take hold, there are mounting concerns that rate structures currently in place to support residential PV will result in adopters bearing less than their fair share of system costs. If increasing levels of distributed solar generation puts additional pressure on grid equipment and aging infrastructure, these concerns loom even larger.

A new EI working paper takes a close look at how increasing levels of distributed solar generation can impact power system costs. For me, this…

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