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The Economics of Load Defection

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Grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems are coming, and could soon supply the majority of a customers’ electricity needs.

WHY IT MATTERS

Rising retail prices for grid electricity and declining costs for solar PV and batteries mean that grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems will be economic within the next 10–15 years for many customers in many parts of the country. Utilities could see significant decline in energy sales that would support needed grid investment. Thus it's critical that utilities, regulators, and other electricity system stakeholders urgently pursue reform on three fronts—rate structures, utility business models, and regulatory frameworks—to embrace solar, batteries, and other DERs as an integral, optimized part of the future grid, rather than as a threat to that grid.