Today in Cleantech

California is heading toward its ambitious 33.3% renewable energy mandate by 2020 and Governor Jerry Brown has said that he wants 12 gigawatts of that to be distributed in the form of rooftop solar, community wind and biogas.  That’s a lot of distributed generation and utilities are feeling some of the pressure as they’re being regulated to participate in programs like “net metering” which allows some solar customers to sell power back to the grid. On the flip side, the CEO of the California ISO, which must balance the electrical grid for 30 million Californians, has said he’s not a fan of a mandates. Steven Berberich is tasked with trying to encourage the build out of some grid energy storage as he deals with the onslaught of renewable sources, and he’s concerned that end users have no financial incentive to install batteries on the grid, particularly when they can just sell their excess energy back to the grid. I truly don’t know how the experiment that is California’s electrical grid is going to turn out, but I also don’t think it’s a bad thing that regulation is actually forcing innovation, the opposite of what everyone says is the end result of regulation.

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Adam Lesser

Analyst Gigaom Research

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