The threat solar power poses to utilities has been discussed time and time again. In the US, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) — the association that represents US investor-owned electric companies — has even warned its constituents about the potential “utility death spiral” that could come from solar and energy storage. But then the question rises: “So, why don’t utilities themselves invest more in solar?” There are various parts to the answer, but I think the most important one is highlighted very well (and in a very funny way) by Philip Alexander Hiersemenzel of Younicos in the video below. (Note that this is not necessarily the opinion of Younicos, but is Philip personally speaking about the matter.)
I didn’t want to spoil the answer/joke for anyone, but if you don’t do videos for some reason, the point (specifically in reference to German solar and utilities) was: Utilities have complained about homeowners and businesses making outrageous profits, 15% IRR guaranteed, from solar power. But they didn’t invest in solar more themselves because 15% IRR wasn’t enough for them… they require 20% IRR and up.
Ah, the tough life of a monopoly under threat.
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Autonomous Drones for Better Farming
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...