Energy Companies Compete for New Renewable Energy Customers—and Revenue - Energy Minute for August 1, 2013
Legacy power companies are squaring off with new renewable energy providers in a battle to claim utility customers—and revenue. The companies are lobbying regulators and legislatures to roll back subsidies and credits that promote solar energy and other renewable sources of power, claiming that such support undercuts traditional utilities’ capacity to run the nation’s grid. The renewable energy industry replies that government incentives are crucial to start up renewable energy infrastructure and services. Some new energy companies, including SolarCity, Sungevity, Sunrun, and Verengo, have formed a lobbying group, the Alliance for Solar Choice, to fight efforts to weaken the subsidies and credit systems. A third way has been chosen by a few utilities, who are getting into the business of renewable energy. Duke Energy, Edison International, and other utilities are backing Clean Power Finance, a San Francisco startup. NextEra Energy has bought Smart Energy Capital, a solar developer. One thing is clear in this murky landscape: we are seeing a paradigm shift, such as has happened in the music, telephone, telecommunications, and television industries from disruptive technologies in the way electricity is produced, sold, and delivered. Change seems to be the only certainty. I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.
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