Solar Power Impact on Traditional Power SystemsThere is no doubt that there will be a solar power impact on traditional power systems. The question that everyone is trying to figure out is how much impact will there be. What aspect of the system will be impacted? Solar power will impact these parts much differently. The areas of power generation can be broken down in to the following categories: Fuel; Generation; Transmission; and Delivery. We will take a look at each one of these separately assuming two scenarios.

Solar Power Impact on Traditional Power Systems


Fuel today for electrical power generation depends on sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and hydro. Both large solar projects and roof top solar will have an impact on these sources. Solar is really a new source of fuel. Power is virtually free with no impact on the environment.


Generation will focus on the lowest costs and the least environmental impact. This means wind power and solar projects combined with existing hydro power dams. Generation from steam generated by burning coal, oil and natural gas will tail off in that order. This change will take place slowly as more and more solar comes online.

Transmission systems will still be required. Unless roof top solar and local wind farms really take off.  This could still motivate and drive consumers to roof top installations. Large solar projects and wind farm projects will still require long distance transmission systems.

Delivery – Delivery will depend on the penetration of roof top solar panels. Local utilities could find that their revenue could drop significantly. However this is still at least a decade away in North America.

Roof top solutions are becoming more cost effective. Locations with already high per kilowatt per hour costs will see an impact within the next few years.


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