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March 17, 2016
Sanem Sergici Quoted in Bloomberg Article on Impact of Solar Growth on Electric Power Generators

Brattle Senior Associate Sanem Sergici has been featured in a March 15, 2016 Bloomberg article that examines the rise of the solar industry in the U.S. and its impact on electric power generators.

With more than a million homes in the U.S. set to have solar panels installed by the end of April, electric grid managers serving the eastern U.S. plan to cut the amount of electricity they buy from conventional plants by approximately 1,400 megawatts. The article discusses how this cutback could result in as much as $2 billion in lost revenue for generators that are already feeling the effects of lower electricity demand, environmental regulations, and decreased power prices. Additionally, growing reliance on solar could curtail investment in conventional power plants, negatively impacting the reliability of the U.S. electric system.

Another factor aiding in the rapid deployment of solar, according to the article, is a practice known as net metering, which is being fought by power providers who believe customers should pay more for the costs of maintaining the overall electrical system. Last year, the average solar panel generated enough electricity to meet the needs of 80 percent of the average household’s electricity. At the same time, many utilities pay for the energy exports at the full retail price of electricity.

“This is only going to get more sizable in the future, because this is real capacity,” Dr. Sergici noted in the article. “The bottom line is that most of the grid operators are now really relying on these distributed energy resources as long-term reliable resources.”

To view the article in its entirety, please visit Bloomberg’s website.