Utilities will of course play much the same role in these fields as they always have.
They will? Regulation seems like the last thing you'd want them in charge of.
For example, I wouldn't want Xcel Energy to regulate itself in Boulder, CO or we wouldn’t be making the gains there right now. More on this here.
Sure, a proper solar system integrates battery storage to power things at night and whatnot, but what if it stays cloudly all week long?
Excerpt from my previous post located here:
... What you apparently don't know is that top scientists/experts predict that graphene batteries will be used at individual homes and businesses for energy storage beyond vehicles, etc. You seem to be locked into a centralized power paradigm even after I addressed this several times within my previous links (and brief quotes from my links as well).
Graphene will be used for off-grid solar power storage systems in the relatively near future. It's got a ways to go (currently only 60 Watt-hours per liter). But that also means 1 liter is enough to power a 60 watt, old-fashioned, inefficient light bulb for 1 hour (or 20 watt CFL for 3 hours).
Even with current, nascent graphene technology, that would mean if a family of four kept something the size of an average, underground 1500 gallon (4 graphene liters per gallon) septic tank in their backyard, it could power everything in a 4 bedroom home for over a week and a half (considering graphene batteries currently holds 90% of its charge for 300 hours) just running off the battery alone. And, the nice thing is the graphene isn't nearly as toxic like traditional batteries are and is being made safer the more it's studied and altered. It also retains about 90% of its capacitance after 50,000 charge/discharge cycles for christ's sake.
I'm obviously simplifying this for brevity, but you should now get the idea what I'm talking about when referring to graphene for energy storage ...
See same post and other posts within that thread for much more details including sources, numbers, etc.
Also, we went over some of this type of stuff before and that link was in this post....