Barriers to solar grid connection

Renew, formerly the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) has conducted research into the experiences of our members with household solar power systems and the many barriers they face when negotiating grid connection.

Installing a solar electricity system is one way that householders can support renewable energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In urban areas, most householders prefer a grid-interactive system with solar panels connected to the mains electricity grid via an inverter so they can draw power from the grid during lean solar times and sell surplus power to the electricity retailer when the sun is shining.

But householders who have grid connected solar systems warn that the process isn’t as simple as it could be. Like all emerging technologies, it can take some time for regulators to understand the challenges involved in grid connecting and to provide the guidelines, codes and regulations to simplify the process.

Significant disincentives remain for consumers investing in solar systems, despite the efforts of many solar PV system installers, who often attempt to negotiate grid connection on behalf of the system owner.