A US firm has warned America faces a stark choice of embracing clean energy or building an ‘inefficient’ power network that will be redundant within a decade.
Sunrun, the nation’s largest dedicated residential solar, storage and energy services company, has called for the consumer to be at the centre of the US energy system.
It has published a report: “Affordable, Clean Reliable Energy: A Better System Created by the People, For the People, detailing the need for incentivizing the public to back a better energy system.
This includes a raft of recommendations, such as incentivizing home batteries, supporting low-income access programs, maintaining simple and stable rates, and letting the competitive free market work to deliver innovation and affordability.
“We are at a crossroads,” declared Lynn Jurich, Sunrun’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.
She said: “We can choose a path of building an affordable, clean, reliable energy system that meets the needs of all Americans.
“Continuing down a path of centralized, fossil fuel-based electricity production will create redundant and inefficient infrastructure in 10 years.”
She urged the nation not to “build tomorrow’s energy system with yesterday’s technology.”
Jurich said the US suffered the most power outages in the developed world and remains under pressure.
Unless change was embraced, the way forward was an ailing 100-year-old electricity grid which consumers would be forced to pay higher energy bills to cover the two trillion dollars needed to upgrade it.
Technology and innovation have opened up a new generation of energy resources that reduce the need for spending on unnecessary, outdated and polluting infrastructure.
Clean power can be generated where it is used: solar power on roofs and batteries in garages.
The cost of home batteries declined 84% over the last decade – and costs are expected to halve again over the next decade.
More local power from solar and batteries on homes and businesses will improve reliability for Americans during increasingly frequent extreme weather events, and make the energy system more resilient for everyone.
“We are making investments and policy decisions today about our energy future and need to integrate new technologies, such as home solar and batteries, that offer Americans cleaner, more resilient and affordable household energy,” said Jurich.