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Type Paper
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Abhilash Kantamneni, Richelle Winkler, Lucia Gauchia, Joshua M. Pearce, Emerging economic viability of grid defection in a northern climate using solar hybrid systems. Energy Policy 95, 378–389 (2016). doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.05.013 free open access

High demand for photovoltaic (PV), battery, and small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) technologies are driving a virtuous cycle of technological improvements and cost reductions in off-grid electric systems that increasingly compete with the grid market. Using a case study in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this paper quantifies the economic viability of off-grid PV+battery+CHP adoption and evaluates potential implications for grid-based utility models. The analysis shows that already some households could save money by switching to a solar hybrid off-grid system in comparison to the effective electric rates they are currently paying. Across the region by 2020, 92% of seasonal households and ~75% of year-round households are projected to meet electricity demands with lower costs. Furthermore, ~65% of all Upper Peninsula single-family owner-occupied households will both meet grid parity and be able to afford the systems by 2020. The results imply that economic circumstances could spur a positive feedback loop whereby grid electricity prices continue to rise and increasing numbers of customers choose alternatives (sometimes referred to as a "utility death spiral"), particularly in areas with relatively high electric utility rates. Utility companies and policy makers must take the potential for grid defection seriously when evaluating energy supply strategies.

Summary: J. Pearce. Consumers Can Profit from Leaving the Grid. Huffington Post Green 5.31.2016.

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Part of MOST completed projects and publications
Keywords energy policy, electric utility, photovoltaic, distributed generation, off-grid, solar energy, cogeneration, electricity, energy production, heating and cooling, heating, cooling
SDG SDG07 Affordable and clean energy
Authors Abhilash Kantamneni, Richelle Winkler, Lucia Gauchia, J.M.Pearce
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 30 pages link here
Impact 516 page views
Created May 15, 2016 by Joshua M. Pearce
Modified February 23, 2024 by Maintenance script
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