National Geographic suggests that your solar powered neighbors could increase the likelihood of power outages when you need power the most.
In an age when more homeowners are using solar panels to generate their own electricity, bad weather usually limits the output of these devices and increases the amount of energy the utility must supply, making the problem even worse. Self-generation of electricity by customers essentially hides the true energy demand of a residence or building from the utility, making it difficult for them to know how much energy they must be able to supply instantaneously when those self-generation sources go offline or are substantially reduced.
Renewables like Wind and Solar deliver less or no power during severe winter conditions and can fail outright. If power providers are not generating to address that likelihood (or can’t) during peak use periods like, say, a Nor’Easter, then unless that self-reliant solar powered neighbor is actually disconnected from the grid altogether, they are more like the peasants who head for the castle when there’s trouble but fail to bring any resources with them for the duration.
Just in case it needs to be said, there is nothing self-reliant about that, not that taking taxpayer-funded rebates for the install was self-reliant, in the first place.