Here's a novel thought — as homeowners slap solar panels on their rooftops and unplug from the grid, users of traditional energy could see their bills go up.
On the "Sultans of Storage" panel at VentureBeat'sGreenBeat 2010 conference on Nov. 4, Nat Goldhaber, managing director at Claremont Creek Ventures, made the case for locally-generated energy and storage. Solutions that can store solar and wind energy to power clusters of homes is a topic rife for innovation and investment, according to Goldhaber.
Ifmore homeowners put solar panelson their roofs and batteries are adapted to store the excess energy, neighborhoods could disappear from the grid entirely — instead becoming clusters of off-the-grid energy.
Of course, that vision for locally generated and locally stored energy faces its fair share of challenges. Ed Cazalet, vice president and founder of Megawatt Storage Farms, said utilities have been slow to adopt storage solutions because of the lack of government mandates to do so — althoughthat's slowly changing. But if the scenario Goldhaber envisions occurs, perhaps hiking rates on users of traditional energy would be a better motivator than any government mandate for people to switch to solar and energy storage.