by Nicholas Rinaldi
January 19, 2016

Last week we published our second look at GTM Squared's Annual Survey Report: The Future of Global Electricity Systems. As we prepare to publish the 40-page report for Squared members, we are offering sneak peeks of trends we've spotted.

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Calculating the value of customer-sited solar is becoming increasingly important across the U.S. The market segment is witnessing record growth, and the subsequent pressure on local utilities from existing net-metering regimes is influencing regulatory debates in nearly every state.

Recent net-metering decisions handed down by state commissions have been a mixed bag of progressive, conservative and reactionary rulings that aim to define a fair value.

As part of GTM Squared's upcoming survey report, we asked 500 industry experts what customer-sited solar should be valued at by the year 2020. The results are below.

Q: In 2020, as a rule, exported electricity from distributed, customer-sited solar should be valued at ...

Source: Annual Survey Report: The Future of Global Electricity Systems

Surprisingly, we see a degree of harmony here among utility, regulatory and solar industry respondents on what has long been the industry's most contentious issue. Retail electricity rates (less compensation for grid usage) is the number-one choice across each segmentation, and that regulatory model finds real-world precedent in California's recent NEM 2.0 ruling.

While assigning retail electricity value to customer-sited solar may be today's grand bargain and the way forward for many markets, our survey saw a groundswell of support for market-based solutions such as a calculated "value-of-solar" tariff, particularly among respondents who selected the answer "Other."

"Locational and time-based wholesale prices, plus location-specific and time-based value of distribution services," one commenter offered as a way to calculate the value of solar.

"LMP energy plus avoided transmission, plus credits for pollution avoidance," replied another respondent, adding, "long-term capacity contracts reflecting value of plants that can ramp up or down at will."

The final 40-page survey report will include deeper insights and 20 additional inquiries into the key trends shaping tomorrow's power market. The report will be made available to GTM Squared members during the week of February 1, 2016.

Join GTM Squared today to get access to this report, as well as the rich archive of existing GTM Squared content. Find more required GTM Squared reading on the topics of net metering and solar valuation at the links below: