The lure of an electricity meter spinning backwards is causing a boom in on-site generation and the net metering of the output. The number of homes and businesses net metering jumped 61% in 2010 to 155,814, according to EIA data. http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=6270.
Another way to put it, one of every thousand electricity customers are already generating their own electricity and spinning their meters backwards by subtracting the power they produce from the power that they take from the grid.
Since 2003, when EIA began tracking net metering, the annual growth rate has averaged 56%. Now customers in every state but Tennessee and in 655 electricity service territories are net metering and producing their own power.
Solar, biomass, and other renewable energy technologies are overwhelmingly the type of generation that customers are using to produce power on-site. The boom in net metering is very much part of the renewable energy boom.