- In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, former Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu spoke about what the utility industry can do to survive stagnant growth of electricity demand and ongoing disruption from rooftop solar systems.
- Chu said utilities need "another business model" to continue to grow; Chu noted utilities should either own their own rooftop solar systems or partner up with solar companies to "have a new growth industry."
- Chu said he's been speaking with the utility industry about it "for about a year" but "the details have to worked out [...] otherwise, what’s going to happen is like the Internet transforming the entertainment and publishing businesses."
From the article:
A: I've been telling them there's another business model. It goes like this: We - the utility - would own the energy storage and the thing on the roof and the electronics. We'll sell you the electricity.
Q: The utilities would own solar panels on homes and sell the power to homeowners? They'd basically be competing against Sunrun and SolarCity and Sungevity?
A: Right. Or they could link up. So you have some alliance, and you've got a good deal. Now all of a sudden, the utility companies are in a growth business.