Overall, the U.S. is Moving in the Right Direction
While it's great that solar photovoltaic systems (aka solar PV) are becoming more affordable to the average person thanks to ever lower production costs and companies like SolarCity that lease out and install whole systems, a big factor in the equation of whether solar PV catches on or not remains grid interconnection policies. In the U.S., those policies vary from state to state, and the Network for New Energy Choices (NNEC) keeps track of them. Here's their latest report.
Most people who install solar panels don't want to go completely off grid (it's more expensive because of the extra batteries required), so how easily they can connect to the grid and how fairly they are compensated for the extra electricity they send back is important.
The table enough shows the grades of states for their net metering and interconnection policies (more about those here).
• Head of the Class: Massachusetts and Utah received top “A” grades in both policy categories for the second year in a row. In 2011 they are joined at the vanguard of best practices by Delaware, which made particularly impressive improvements to its interconnection practices from last year’s “F” grade.
• Shows Promise: A number of states received an “A” in one category and a “B” in the other making them strong distributed renewable energy markets that have continued room for improvement: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
• Most Improved: Indiana made impressive year-over-year improvements, from a “D” in net metering and “C” in interconnection in 2010 to solid “B”s in both categories this year.
See also: The Solar Industry is Like a Yo-Yo
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