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Big Win for Rooftop Solar as California Vote Boosts Clean Energy


#1

Big Win for Rooftop Solar as California Vote Boosts Clean Energy

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Thursday approved a plan that leaves the state's rooftop solar incentives program largely intact, vindicating environmental and consumer advocates who went up against private interests looking to ratchet up the initiative's price points.

In a 3-2 vote, CPUC upheld the program, which gives subsidies to homeowners who transition to renewable energy. More than half of the solar-paneled households in the U.S. are in California, which has long been a leader in environmental innovation.


#2

Once in awhile you get the impression that we can do things right after all instead of like in Nevada that we practice voluntary stupidity. You can see the future in California, it isn't just a dream. Solar houses and then electric cars and then solar highways and someday Los Angelenos will brag about their clear air and healthy climate.


#3

PEACE, one vote at a time!


#4

A Watt is a Watt whether it is coming or going.

PG&E would have you believe an electron costs more based upon its directional flow.

Thanks California. Did it take Stanford U to illuminate the distinction.


#5

The push to effectively end net metering has nothing to do with electron flow and did not originate with PG&E or any other utility, public or investor owned.

Eliminating net metering incentives is driven by the Kochs and Waltons providing free consultation (and a few campaign contributions) to state governments and utility managers to show them how they can be relieved of net metering customers. This ploy is just one more example that confirms that the Walton's real business is monopoly, their retail operation being nothing more than the lubricant that enables their monopoly. Their most recent monopoly is a company called First Solar that will enable the Waltons to monopolize solar power. Part of the business model for First Solar is eliminating net metering for utility customers.

Once the Waltons eliminate customer net metering, the Waltons may just buy up more large scale solar for the purpose of total monopoly or perhaps they will follow the Kochs' business model of shifting solar resources to fossil fuel generated power.

I believe that the State of Arizona has already signed on to the Waltons ploy and enables utilities to extort fees from net metering customers.


#6

I look forward to cities without cars or expressways at all - and California is a long ways from that.


#7

The problem is that when you are feeding into the grid, you are using the grid but if the buying and selling prices are the same as it is in net metering, you are not paying for your use of the grid. It is fair that these costs be passed on to the majority of electricity buyers for home home solar is not possible die to income or physical nature of the dwelling?

So like any other commodity, sellers of solar electricity should not expect the selling price to be as high as the buying price. Do farmers rise up becasue they don't get the same price for wheat or corn as the retail price? Until smart meters which can record the KWh in and KWh out as separate quantities with separate buying and selling prices, the only way to do this will be a fee. If promotion of solar development is desirable, government price supports can be put on the buying price for a period of time - similar to the subsidized feed-in tariff program that Ontario and maybe some other Canadian provinces have.


#8

So who owns the grid and Why? The same could be said about water. And from what I understand the utility companies wanted to charge solar users from $60. to $100. a month for use of the grid-seems extremely high. And don't think they won't be back-just have to dole out a few "gifts".---To bad we don't have a news media that digs into the facts.


#9

I can answer the WHO part of your question but not the WHY:

There are a half dozen major grids in North America, each serving different parts of the continent and having interties to each other that are very low capacity, so most power is used by customers within the same grid in which it is produced. The biggest grid covers everyplace west of Saskatchewan, Nebraska and Kansas and from the Yukon down to northern Mexico.

High voltage transmission lines are owned by various publicly owned or investor owned utilities that charge what they call wheeling fees when power produced by other utilities travels over their lines. The cost of the transmission system is figured in to customers bills irrespective of whose power is traveling on whose lines.

Transmission lines feed power into substations that reduce the voltage and pushes the power through local distribution lines that serve retail customers (mostly homes and businesses), lines that are usually owned by the same utility that customers pay their bill to.

Rooftop solar is by definition distributed generation wherein the relatively small volume of power produced does not travel as far as the large volumes of power produced at centralized power plants. Based on my 30 year career in electrical power generation and transmission I can assure you that the proposed net metering fees are best characterized by one word: EXTORTION.


#10

California has continuously tried to give leadership to positive changes for environment and citizens -- electric cars were another -- and they got them -- great cars -- very quickly crushed by the auto manufacturer -- was it GM?
"Who Killed the Electric Car?" video - probably at your library


#11

But at least some fee is justified, right? Local distribution lines still cost a lot to maintain (they're the ones that always come down in storms and/or are in a dilapidated state), and a third or so of my electric bill is the distribution portion in my "free market generator" state. I buy a somewhat expensive 100% wind/solar product from a company called "Tri Eagle" for the unregulated "generator" portion of the bill.


#12

With the right batteries no one would need to truck with the electric companies at all. Who actually needs to sell and buy what they produce from the Sun? Store the energy for the future. I know one Professor at Purdue that got old bus batteries and had a wall of them on his garage that stored his energy and he got them for free. That was 10 years ago. The electric corporations are not necessary as they exist now. They might evolve if they were encouraged to.
Main thing is to get rid of the grid. It could take America down if it is hacked in mid-winter, or summer. The Grid is teetering and solar could save us all.


#13

See the next comment. You are proof of what I am saying.


#14

And there was also a Carburetor that could give 100 mpg that was created 100 years ago and the prototype was hidden by an oil company.


#15

ray
Your answer is confusing in regarding to my post.
It was likely GM who crushed a few THOUSAND of these cars.
They were out on lease -- those who leased them LOVED them and wanted to buy them.
There was a long waiting list for more of these electric cars.
GM REFUSED to let anyone buy them.
They took these cars -- by the thousands -- and crushed them.
Despite the fact that everyone who had them not only thought the cars were terrific and wanted to buy them -- and loved driving the cars and the quiet of the cars and many other features like no oil changes, the cleanliness of the cars, etal -- despite all of that, the manufacturers did not want to produce these cars.

Why not? Presumably the entanglements and rewards by oil companies for these manufacturers to continue producing these filthy gasoline-driven automobiles pushes them on to produce cars which continue to do harm to the environment.

No where did I hear of anyone having a problem recharging their cars.

And, if those who develop technology which does no harm to our environment were not interfered with, I imagine we'd probably have cars which would be completely powered by the sun.

And that's the death knell for the private individuals who control our nation's oil supply for their own private profit -- which should have been stopped 100 years or more ago.


#16

You are confusing me with an other poster. I did not reply to any of your posts nor did any of my posts address electric cars.

I concur with your concerns and several years ago I did watch "Who Killed the Electric Car" and highly recommend that all CD readers see it.


#17

Abandoning the ship of fools

Once upon a time there was a people who lived with the Sea; living in connection, intimacy, and harmony with their aquatic environment for a very long time. Then one day a dangerous and powerful man had a bold idea. He thought that if he could build a Ship to sail over the Sea, he might find a better world to live in, a Paradise. He had a hard time convincing others that this Paradise was something to pursue, however, so in order to accomplish this he had to enslave lots of other sea-people to make the voyage possible. The sea-people, under threat of violence and death, built a large ship out of dead plant and animal people, stocked the ship with supplies, and took their place at the oars of the slave-galley. This great Ship then sailed away from the sea-people’s ancestral homeland and headed into the great unknown. After a long time at sea, the slaves forgot they were slaves. As they adapted to their new life of labor and hardship aboard the Ship, they forgot what life was like as sea-people and began identifying with the Ship and its mission. As they forgot how to live on their own away from the Ship, their survival and happiness became inextricably bound up with the Ship and the Captain, until they no longer saw themselves as slaves at all, but as willing participants onboard this fantastic adventure. Their language, culture, rituals, and mythology transformed to reflect their new way of life. They now worshipped the Captain and Paradise Gods as they saw themselves fundamentally separated from the Sea and its ways. The Captain created laws and morals with which to guide correct behavior aboard the Ship. They created rituals for themselves which gave them context for their roles on the Ship and gave meaning to their lives of labor and struggle. They lost all contact with their former ways of being and understanding the world. They were truly unanchored in the world; the Ship being their only reference point for Truth and Deception, Meaning and Nihilism, Beauty and Ugliness, Community and Individuality, Pleasure and Suffering, Sacredness and Profanity...

veganarchoprimitivism dot com


#18

You really need to examine this idea that we need to get rid of the grid and everyone should be responsible for providing their own electricity - such thinking is really Ayn-Rand Walker/Ryan/Paul/Koch-Brothers reactionary and will lead to electricity being something only the rich have. Recall they also think that we have no right to, and should take our own free-market responsibility for clean water (should we get rid or water and sewer "grids" too?, garbage disposal, transportation, healthcare and everything else. Any publicly-provided infrastructure is "socialism" as they say....

In reality, we heed an even more robust continental grid for renewable to be practical becasue for energy will need to be shuffled from areas where the wind is blowing to areas where it is not. Many areas (notably the US southeast and southern Midwest) are wind poor and will always need to import energy from distant wind rich area like the northern plains.


#19

As someone who has dabbled in small 2-wheel electric vehicles and also own a small 4 wheel electric car (Smart ED), I can assure you that as self-contained solar powered car is not doable. The solar panels would have to be the size of airliner wings.

The amount of energy the personal car uses - all to transport 150-200, occasionally 300-400 pounds of passengers and cargo - has to be appreciated. The smart ED used about 30 miles a day 5-6 days a week used far more electricity than anything else in my home - about 12 kilowatt-hours per day in the winter/8 KWh in the summer - basically the energy of two strong work-horses (1 HP or 745 watts each - without rest) being worked solid 8 hours a day to propel a car 30 miles at low speeds about 1 1/2 hours a day - and we are talking about a dinky Smart Car here. i don't want to think of the energy requirement of a full size SUV!

I guess electric cars will have their place for some things, but what we really need is to get people out of private cars altogether through serious public transit development. Sit by a busy street and count cars - in the time it takes to count 50 cars, there should be a bus or streetcar instead - and with it - there would be virtually zero wait times at the bus stop. Oh, and it would be free - just part of the publicly financed infrastructure. Who would bother owning a car (maybe occasionally renting one for recreational trips) with such a syatem? Indeed, the way people have been convinced that the car is some kind of irreplaceable necessity for which any other alternative is impossible is one of the great psychological cons of our time.


#20

Apologies --