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Renewables Empower Individual Producers, Require New Business Model for Utilities

I'm on the Dakota Rural Action committee that brought you the net-metering bill this Legislative session. Net metering (paying people for the useful surplus power that they produce with renewable power devices) is one way to promote small-scale, community-based energy (read: self-reliance, Governor Daugaard!).

That may be part of why South Dakota utilities didn't like our bill. They may be worried that rooftop solar panels and wind turbines will do to them what blogs and other social media are doing to the Rapid City Journal and that Sioux Falls paper (hat tip to Mr. Gibilisco!):

Every new solar panel installed on European rooftops chips away at power utilities' centralized production model. Unless they reinvent themselves soon, these giants risk becoming the dinosaurs of the energy market.

The industry faces drastic change as renewable energy turns consumers into producers and hollows out the dominance of utilities [Geert De Clercq, "Renewables Turn Utilities into Dinosaurs of the Energy World," Reuters, 2013.03.08].

Consumers, producers... conducers!


  1. Pierrely Conservative 2013.03.11

    Actually....people with installed renewables (wind/solar) in South Dakota do get credit for the power they generate. While its not the retail rate they receive they do receive credit at the avoided cost rate, which is probably around 2-4 cents/kwh, compared to 8-10 cents/kwh retail.

    The simple fact is that if utility companies had to pay at the retail rate, they would have to go to the PUC to ask for a rate increase because they are paying more to obtain the power, thus increasing their costs.

  2. larry kurtz 2013.03.11

    They're monopolies: let them eat Koch.

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