Add the on-site power production and net metering revolution, to America's natural gas and solar revolutions that are underway. And this revolution challenges the central power station with massive transmission infrastructure electricity paradigm.
Don't believe it? Consider the calculations below.
America is on track to have 10 million net metering electricity customers that could generate 93,000 megawatts of power, in the next 10 years.
From 2003 to 2010, the annual growth rate for the number of net metering customers has averaged about 50%. In fact, in 2010, the last year for which EIA has data, the growth rate was 61%. http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=6270.
All that growth means that, as of 2010, America had 155,813 net metering customers.
If a 50% growth rate is maintained for the next 10 years, approximately 10 million customers will be net metering. Even if the growth rate falls to 25%, 2 million customers will be net metering.
If one assumes that the average size of a net metered installation is 10 kilowatts, a relatively conservative assumption, America will have between approximately 18,000 to 93,000 megawatts of net metered electric generation capacity. The range is big but a big deal, even at the low-end.
The burgeoning number of net metering customers is both a market opportunity for some businesses and a potential business challenge for traditional utilities. Dawning now is the era of the energy grid, where more and more power is generated at the premises of customers.