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On Eight Hurdles to a Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Solar Choice in Florida

Bas, there are twenty times as many Americans as Dutch, the U.S. occupies 240 times the land area of the Netherlands, and in the U.S. it's still mostly up to states to regulate electricity.

I wouldn't object to nationalizing the U.S. grid; there are many, many people who would. How much would it cost to buy out utilities? A rough guess might be $500 billion, would that money come from microgrid connection fees?

March 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Who Could Benefit Most from Fair Electricity Pricing? Low-Income Customers

Clayton, in your scenario who pays for maintenance on the grid?

March 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Who Could Benefit Most from Fair Electricity Pricing? Low-Income Customers

Clayton, you feel it's appropriate that poor people shoulder the responsibility of running their dishwashers at 2AM so more affluent customers can save with net metering?

And if you feel encumbered by the "old model of central planning", why aren't you off-grid? Maybe that's the thought process which needs upgrading.

March 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Virginia's General Assembly likes Solar Energy. Will That Be Enough?

Hops, space program funding also supported the development of PV panels. They work great in lightweight applications where day, night, weather, transmission, and expense aren't a problem.

Thanks to NASA's research and development teams, contemporary solar power designs are significantly better than those aboard the ISS [International Space Station]. In fact, NASA has an entire division, called the Photovoltaic & Space Environments Branch, dedicated to addressing solar power and related challenges. This branch actively partners with private companies and shares scientific knowledge in the hopes of accelerating technological developments.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/nasa-inventions/nasa-improve-solar-energy.htm

 

March 31, 2015    View Comment    

On Who Could Benefit Most from Fair Electricity Pricing? Low-Income Customers

Rory, "time-variant pricing" isn't a boon to low-income consumers but instead a shell game which low-income customers automatically lose.

Energy is now a level playing field: everyone pays the same price for the same service. You want to create a "poor people's tier", where the poor can pay less for less convenience. How is that a benefit? The cost of grid maintenance incurred by utilities is still sidestepped by net-metered customers; low income customers still pay more, with either higher prices or less convenience.

It's not surprising EDF summons the spirit of Adam Smith, patron saint of free marketers everywhere, with this gross privatization grab of what is essentially a public resource.

March 30, 2015    View Comment    

On Eight Hurdles to a Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Solar Choice in Florida

Jim, how will "Floridians for Solar Choice" compensate Florida utilities for use of their multi-billion-dollar infrastructure, or are utilities supposed to gladly absorb solar entrepreneurs' expenses? That's not only bad business - an investor-owned utility would likely be liable for abdicating their fiduciary duty. So the cost will be passed on to people who can't afford to join in the big happy rightwing privatization-fest.

Florida NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze:

"Rooftop solar provides savings to homeowners by lowering their consumption of electricity from the electric grid and through an accounting gimmick that compensates rooftop solar owners at a cost higher than what it costs to actually produce the electricity. And guess who gets to pick up those costs? You do in the form of higher electric bills. We support solar. We even think that the accounting mechanism, officially known as net metering can work as long as the economics are fair. And right now, they’re not. This means that someone is getting wealthy off of a subsidy that everyone else has the privilege of paying. That’s not right. That’s not fair. And that’s why we’re speaking up."

March 30, 2015    View Comment    

On Power Plant Owners can Reduce Emissions with Energy Efficiency: Here's How

Keith, an anecdote which would support that hypothesis -

While I was shopping for low-voltage LED path lighting for my front yard today, a salesperson was eager to sell me on the efficiency and energy savings of LED bulbs.

"I have them in my office at home," he said, "and they use so little electricity I just leave them on all the time."

March 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Virginia's General Assembly likes Solar Energy. Will That Be Enough?

Hops, at the rate solar has grown since then it will still be a novelty 11,000 years from now.

Don't hold your breath.

March 29, 2015    View Comment    

On The High Cost of Solar Financing

Josh, ten miles west of Phoenix on Interstate 10 might be one of the driest areas in the U.S. - the nearest source for hydro generation is hundreds of miles away. It's also the home of the largest nuclear plant in the country - Palo Verde - which relies on recycled Phoenix wastewater to generate 4 billion watts of power.

Ironically, California's water shortage is one of the best arguments against renewables. Carlsbad Desalination Center, which goes online later this year, will require 280GWh of dependable baseload energy which the state's renewable sources are incapable of providing. Some will be imported from Palo Verde; the rest will be generated by burning natural gas.

March 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Virginia's General Assembly likes Solar Energy. Will That Be Enough?

Ivy, assuming an average residential solar array size of 5kW and a generous capacity factor of .15, Dominion's 20 MW solar facility and 4,000 homes with solar will be capable of providing seven tenths of one percent of Virginia's electricity generation.

I suppose I should be happy that Sierra Club is so easily mollified by Dominion's handwaving, and the company continues to rely on clean, safe, and affordable nuclear to generate most of the other 99%+ of the state's electricity (insert happy emoji here).

March 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Power Plant Owners can Reduce Emissions with Energy Efficiency: Here's How

Dylan, you claim to be a "staff scientist", a generic label commonly assumed by charlatans of all stripes. Specifically, what credentials permit you to make the claim that

energy efficiency...is a key part of any cost-effective plan to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change.

since you provide no factual basis for it?

March 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Plant Closure Opportunity: Hitting Those Clean Energy Notes

Larissa, this article - and EDF's position - are unconscionably misdirected, misinformed, and injurious to California's clean energy effort.

  • You have no justification whatsoever for your contention that demand/response, energy efficiency, and "storage" (as if that was a source of energy) are capable of replacing SONGS's 2100MW of clean energy.
  • You fail to acknowledge EDF's legal complicity in closing SONGS, and raising California's carbon emissions by 8 million tons/year.
  • CPUC's statement amounts to due diligence with a hole big enough to drive a truck through: "to the extent feasible". Good thing they included that exception, or California would be forced to import all the electricity unoffered by the pathetic gestures EDF is recommending.
  • The effect of SONGS's closure was completely predictable, and environmentally and economically catastrophic. Instead of fixing a robust source of clean energy for $980 million, Californians will be forced to pick up a $13.6 billion tab, and there's evidence ex-CPUC President Peevey may have conspired with Southern California Edison to profit on the building of new gas plants. For what portion of that do you feel EDF should be responsible?

I don't know if you live here or not. I do, and you really have no idea what you're talking about.

March 29, 2015    View Comment