(McKoy’s News) – Rise of Solar Technology Interest Could Burn the Utility Business Model: Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century..
According to Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Dr Fritz Pinnock, traditional utilities will be forced to change the way they operate as more people turn to solar technology.
Pinnock says this has implications for the business models of traditional utilities in the Caribbean, such as the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) which must modernise their operations with new and efficient technologies.
The CMI Director made his comments while speaking at the 2017 CARILEC Engineering Conference, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James recently..
He said energy users are dramatically changing how they want energy generated and delivered to their homes and businesses.
He says Caribbean utilities must, therefore, re-examine their own model of energy distribution and decide on how to respond to the growing trend of self-generation
Evolving technology could open up solar to more customers. David Ginger, chief scientist for the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute, said the potential includes flexible or thin panels to allow solar on rooftops that aren’t optimal for traditional panels.
Much of where the pricing can continue to decline is in “soft costs” such as permitting, training and installation.
According to more reports, across the world there is now 305 GW of solar capacity, an increase from just 50 GW in 2010.
In 2016 alone the total amount of solar PV capacity reached more than 76 GW, up from 51.2 GW in 2015.
According to the latest figures from SolarPower Europe, China and the U.S. led the solar surge, with both nations nearly doubling the amount of solar added in 2015.
James Watson, Chief Executive of SolarPower Europe, said: “In order to meet the Paris (climate agreement) targets, it would be important if solar could continue its rapid growth.
Asia’s solar market share reached in excess of 66 per cent last year in 2016, while demand in the U.S. was more than double that of Europe.
In 2016, China was the world’s largest solar market, adding a remarkable 34.2 GW an increase of over 125 per cent compared to the previous year.
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