Net metering – Towards a distributed electrical grid


This is the 2nd of a 3 part series by Silvia Garcia Alonso on P2P responses to the water and energy crisis. Click here for Part 1.

We have already talked about the energy crisis and the need to achieve energy independence through self-generation and the birth of P2P energy networks. At that point we were always talking about communities or households, but the logic applies equally to the distribution and generation of energy in every single country.

The electric companies are involved in the generation of almost all the energy distributed through the national grid. In some countries the end users are allowed to feed-into the grid with energy coming from renewable electrical technologies. In some cases with a fixed price and long-term contracts, in others with short term contracts and variable prices. In some countries the final users are allowed to generate their own energy and to feed-into the grid with their surplus production peaks, as well as to demand from the grid electricity when their generation is below their consumption; this is called net metering.

Both strategies point to the same thing; transforming the actual grid into a distributed generation network, that would not only rely on large power stations, but which would scatter the production among thousands of the utility customers, distributing as well the investment in power generation among those retail investors.

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