Pete Shoemaker, NorCal Solar Board of Directors

WARNING: I am about to use a slightly risqué joke to illustrate a point. The chicken and the egg are sitting up in bed together. The chicken is smoking a cigarette and has a satisfied look on its face. The egg is very grumpy and turns to the chicken and says: “Well, I guess we answered THAT question!”

The solar revolution has necessitated rather intimate relationships between solar vendors/customers and their local utilities, particularly in the realms of net metering. As the story above illustrates (my favorite joke, by the way), these relationships can easily be seen as constant struggles where only one party can come out on top, so to speak, and this is certainly not ideal for the long-term, sustainable growth that the solar industry wants. So a key question becomes, can utilities and the solar industry co-exist in a truly win-win scenario?