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In order for residential solar power installs to continue to climb, Utilities will need to plan for increased ability to take the surplus generation into the grid.

In this new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL) 30 studies from across the US are analyzed. Predictions for rooftop generation by 2020 ranged from around 1% of total retail sales to no more than 5%. Fewer than half of the surveyed studies were predicting more than 1%.

The net result is a wide variation of strategies at the utility planning stage. Central to the dilemma is uncertainty about consumer trends and adoption rates. When combined with regulatory pushback on the part of Utility Cos. it will become a

Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory When an individual utility customer decides to add rooftop solar to their home or business, the utility needs to deliver less power to that customer from other sources. Nine innovative approaches that utilities are using to plan for increased rooftop solar

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It’s clear that in order to maintain robust solar power adoption rates Utilities will need to study market trends, forecast some flexibility into their infrastructure upgrades and be prepared to change course if the marketplace dictates.

The consequences of not doing so could have a negative impact on residential solar panel installations in the coming years.

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