Rooftop solar for grid outage independence

Solar power can bring for energy independence, not just from foreign countries, also from the grid during storms and other outages.

Inspired by the need to deal with downed power lines in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, David Crane and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote for NYTimes 12 Dec 2012, Solar Panels for Every Home,

Solar photovoltaic technology can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our dependence on the grid. Electricity-producing photovoltaic panels installed on houses, on the roofs of warehouses and big box stores and over parking lots can be wired so that they deliver power when the grid fails.

Solar panels have dropped in price by 80 percent in the past five years and can provide electricity at a cost that is at or below the current retail cost of grid power in 20 states, including many of the Northeast states. So why isn’t there more of a push for this clean, affordable, safe and inexhaustible source of electricity?

First, the investor-owned utilities that depend on the existing system for their profits have little economic interest in promoting a technology that empowers customers to generate their own power. Second, state regulatory agencies and local governments impose burdensome permitting and siting requirements that unnecessarily raise installation costs.

I can tell you by experience that solar panels on the roof (with batteries) can supply power when the grid is out.

In regulatory-captured Georgia, the big impediment to solar is financing, because of 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act. When will Southern Company and Georgia Power admit their boondoogle on the Savannah River has failed and get on with conservation, efficiency, wind, and solar power?