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View Diary: The most anti-solar reporter in the mainstream media? (75 comments)

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  •  The reason these big solar projects (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaggies2009, Dirtandiron, RLMiller

    are "necessary" at all is because the utility companies refuse to allow feed in tariff programs; they need to own the power they generate.

    There are tens of thousands of available acres for solar on rooftops.  Now.  Today.  While net metering programs are really great, they disincentivize the customer from installing larger arrays that generate surplus power because the customer isn't credited for power that they don't use.

    I've always contended that the biggest reason why the energy industry hates solar and wind so much is because they can't own the commodity, the fuel.  Solar and wind present enormously less opportunity for profit because it is not a consumable.  Therefore it is much more profitable for energy companies to control huge generation centers where they can at least treat the power generated as a commodity.

    Feed-in tariffs destroy this opportunity and relegate the utility to a mere transporter of the commodity instead of the owner of the commodity. Once again the environment suffers because of the greed of the energy industry.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:13:22 PM PST

    •  The energy generators (0+ / 0-)

      namely the utilities and the merchant power companies generally do not own the fuel.  Most utilities have contracts with mining and natural gas companies to supply coal and gas, (or uranium) and do not own the fuel outright, themselves.

      •  But they do control (0+ / 0-)

        the generation, maintaining it's status as a commodity.

        The energy industry as a whole requires control of consumable commodities to reap the exorbitant profits that they do.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:17:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  La Gitane - I am a huge solar advocate (0+ / 0-)

      but the reason that the utilities don't like wind and solar is not because they don't control the fuel. Fuel is a major cost for utilities so they would love to lower that cost. The reason is that alternative energy isn't predictable. The major challenge of wind and solar is that it is difficult to determine exactly how much power they will be generating at any point in time. Managing energy is significantly more complex when you have big peaks and valleys from alternative sources. The utility has to meet the customer demand at the moment so load balancing is very difficult when power is generated in peaks and valleys.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:11:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That problem is solved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        By using the grid as storage, and supplemented by traditional generation; net metering already does this.

        It is not a huge jump to go from net metering to feed-in tariffs.  Germany has been incredibly successful with this.

        The only reason we don't do it here is because the utility companies do not want to relinquish control of the generation. You kind of missed my point - feed in tariffs would eliminate the need for giant generation facilities like arrays in the desert because you would have hundreds of thousands of localized individual generators. This is also more efficient from the standpoint of distribution as well.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:42:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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