Net metering should be a basic right for all homes, both for power generated at home or elsewhere on the grid, eg with a part of a shared solar or wind farm. When not investors, but power users, own a solar or wind farm. Every state or country has its own regulations for net metering, and they differ greatly, which creates uncertainty and slows down the growth of renewable power. Sometimes net metering is forbidden or made very expensive, just by state regulations.
To allow net metering for all power consumers everywhere, creates certainty and makes generating renewable power easier and gives all power consumers the opportunity to do their bit about the climate problem, and have cheaper power at the same time.
This is important, because of the efficiency the mass consumer market creates. The German solar success shows how this works.
States that resist net metering are like corrupt regimes that do not allow their citizens to drive their own car, but require everyone to hire a cab, and wait for the cab driver to decide where and when he wants to bring you.
Balancing the grid is a public interest infrastructure service
In fact, net metering is just one of the ways the grid is balanced. Fossil power plants and grid operators work together to balance the output of the fossil power plants with the sum of all renewable power and all power that everyone uses. It does not matter for this balancing service providers whether net metering is allowed or not, or whether it is expensive or even rewarded. To balance the grid, the grid operator only needs to know how much renewable power is installed, and what the weather forecast says about how much renewable power will be generated all together. They already know how much power will be used in the next 24 hrs, because of the years of statistical history. The difference between power consumption and generated renewable power, is what fossil power (and hydro) plants will have to generate, together. These power plants use a internal market to decide who generates what, at what location on the grid. In Europe renewable power has already preference over fossil generated power, by law.
So, if renewable power grows and grows, fossil power plants have less and less to deliver, and their role shifts to filling the gaps, at night when there is no sun and in periods with not enough wind. Balancing the grid will be the most important business for most power plants. That is why regulations should go with that flow, and allow everyone to generate renewable power everywhere, in family size quantities. But this includes power for heating and cooling and the electric cars the family uses.
The grid is a public infrastructure, same as roads and highways. So there is no need to ditch net metering as MIT economists tried, in 2015.
Net metering should be compared to driving a car.
A driver license is required
And generating equipment should be according grid standards to be allowed on the grid.
And as wit cars, do not exceed the maximum allowed speed, even if the car can.
With renewable power generators, its the same, do not generate more than the local and regional grid allows.
In this simple way consumers can own much more wind and solar farms, and be proud of their community achievement.
Today most wind and solar farms are owned by investors, and they are subsidized. This slows down the growth of renewable power, because investors money is much more expensive than consumers money. And when power consumers generate their own power, and use net metering, they have their power at cost price. No commercial margins added. So consumers are cheaper off when they generate their own power. And this is possible, because both wind and solar farms work automatically, just the same as rooftop solar panels.
For this to work, the grid should be seen as a shared resource, where every user pays a fair share of the cost of the grid. And pays less when he uses a grid aware solar inverter at home. Most inverters push all power the pv panels generate to the grid. Grid aware inverters do the same, but also listen to commands form the grid operator, to give them some control over balancing the grid, both regionally and locally.
However, regulations should also arrange that utilities do not exploit these consumers / producers with extreme grid balancing cost.
Normally, when market forces work, te balancing services costs about 0,1 cents per kWh of all used, generated, power.
Everyone already pays this today because fossil power plants also need balancing power.
But when renewable grows, and regulations fail to protect power users / generators from exploitation, the cost of this balancing service, can easily rise to 2 tot 4 cents.
Transparency and proper regulations are necessary to allow the balance market to work.
Comparing the grid with the road and highway system, and freedom to go on the road always, but obey the rules, is the way for any state or country to grow their renewable power.