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View Diary: Arizona Utility Wants To Kill Solar (67 comments)

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  •  Bingo. At least you concede the point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, pngai

    Many solar enthusiasts fail to acknowledge that non-solar rate payers heavily subsidize solar ones.

    And because solar tends to be installed by more affluent households, what you actually have are transfer payments from the working and middle-class to the wealthy.

    I realize that many of you will disagree with my description.

    But it is what it is.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:35:35 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So, lemme see, we sell power to the utility from (8+ / 0-)

      our system that we paid for.

      Therefore, they don't have to build a new plant, meaning lower rates.

      So how in Centrist Economics does that hurt ANY ratepayers?

      "I'll not yield. -- Wendy Davis" "Fear is a habit. I am not afraid. -- Aung San Suu Kyi"

      by sturunner on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:47:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Koch Bros. don't get as much... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner, Ian S, bbctooman, Calamity Jean

        ...hey, wait a minute!

        Do the Koch Bros. own any APS stock? Does APS use any Koch-produced fuel to provide electricity?

        I smell a big hydrocarbon rat...

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:00:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sturunner - the problem with solar and wind (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pngai

        is that they have little impact on peak power needs of the utilities. Wind is variable and the solar on your roof starts a downward slope of energy production long before you turn down your AC on a hot summer night. The only thing that really impacts peak power is for enough customers to agree to allow the utility to manage your AC when they need the juice, demand response.

        The Public Utility Commissions have agreed to a certain level of revenue to provide the utility with a stable base. As distributed power increases the cost at the utility don't decline much at all, but if the revenue for selling electricity drops too much you have bankrupt utilities.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:28:24 PM PDT

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        •  That is sinply NOT the case in Arizona... (6+ / 0-)

          These days, it's typically 100F by 10-11 AM - our air conditioners work hard all afternoon and evening but especially hard in the afternoon in the intense sun.

          Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

          by Ian S on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:49:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  VClib - That doesn't equate to a "subsidy" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiot, Calamity Jean

          for solar. In essence, you're saying that if the utility doesn't sell enough power to cover its costs, it will go bankrupt.
             By your reasoning, people who shop at Walmart are subsidizing Amazon shoppers, because if Walmart doesn't sell enough product, it will go bankrupt.

          •  dallasd - the economics of utilities (0+ / 0-)

            are different that a normal market because utilities are highly regulated by state public utility commissions unlike Walmart and Amazon. When a utility makes a capital investment in power generation or distribution infrastructure it does so after negotiating with the public utility commission regarding how the capital investment will be funded by rate payers over the next two decades. Because in most cases the utility has a monopoly on your connection to the grid they are highly regulated. If they weren't they could charge each customer a market clearing price or cut you off the grid. As more power generation is provided by rooftop solar that doesn't change the fact that the utility's investment in generation and distribution still must be paid and that payment needs to be from everyone on the grid.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:14:47 AM PDT

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        •  Simply false in the case of solar (0+ / 0-)

          in most locations and at most times.  Solar corresponds almost exactly to peak power needs in most circumstances, with peak generation corresponding with peak demand.  The only hitch in the picture is that in some places there's a second winter peak where there's heavy use of electric heating.  But then again, wind blows a lot more in winter than

          •  Oops. (0+ / 0-)

            Post failure, let's try again.

            Simply false in the case of solar in most locations and at most times.  Solar corresponds almost exactly to peak power needs in most circumstances, with peak generation corresponding with peak demand.  The only hitch in the picture is that in some places there's a second winter peak where there's heavy use of electric heating.  But then again, wind blows a lot more in winter than summer, so there you go (it's steadier in winter, too, and it also blows more at night than during the day).

            The medium-term future for the grid is roughly constant hydro + nuclear, significantly decreasing coal, steadily increasing NG (ultimately migrating to predominantly peaking usage), and significantly increasing wind and solar (hopefully geo as well).  Such a system all plays well together.  And you can keep pushing the wind and solar up as much as you want with any combination of peaking, storage (pumped hydro, compressed air, etc), adaptive demand / smart grid (esp. combined with EVs), long distance transmission, and baseload-capable renewables designs (solar thermal storage, high altitude wind, etc, plus hopefully, as stated, significant geo (EGS)).

            An important thing to remember about intermittency: the grid already deals with intermittency, and has been from the beginning.  It's demand intermittency.  And from a practical standpoint, there's little difference between generation intermittency and demand intermittency.  We already know how to deal with it.  We already do deal with it.  It's not some giant unsolved problem.

    •  perhaps because it is more complicated (10+ / 0-)

      because of course depending on the rate structure, people who install solar still pay for the transmission capacity they use when they pay for power during the night or when they use more than their panels produce, in direct proportion to their use of the electricity.  IN addition, people who install solar also subsidize grid users because they carry investment costs that the ratepayers would have to pay if the utility were to install additional capacity that is avoided by the installation of solar.

      Thus, it isn't entirely clear who subsidizes whom (it depends on whether you have net metering and what rates the utility pays and other details of the rate case) under a full accounting.  In any event, $100 a month is absurdly out of proportion and is clearly designed to kill alternatives to utility power.

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:09:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Electricity Consumption has barely budged over... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        the last 7 years.

        And more of the same is expected.

        Whatever arguments you may have for solar, saving the utilities the capx associated with another plant to meet additional expected consumption isn't a valid one.

           January 2, 2013, 7:39 p.m. ET

        U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

        http://online.wsj.com/...

        Americans are using more gadgets, televisions and air conditioners than ever before. But, oddly, their electricity use is barely growing, posing a daunting challenge for the nation's utilities.

        The Energy Information Administration is projecting that electricity use in the U.S. will rise an average of just 0.6% a year for industrial users and 0.7% for households through 2040.

        That's a far cry from the middle decades of the past century, when utilities could rely on electricity consumption growing by more than 8% a year. Even after the Arab oil embargo in 1973, the growth in electricity demand averaged 2% to 4% annually. But those days may be long gone.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:19:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here in Arizona, we'll likely be shutting down... (6+ / 0-)

          a huge but dirty coal fired plant. Something will have to replace it I should think. Do you support keeping dirty coal plants running?

          Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

          by Ian S on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:53:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course strangely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiot, unfangus, Calamity Jean

          People still build new capacity because of the need to replace obsolete capacity and because 0.7% of a large number is still not zero.  If you had a notion of how rate cases are constructed you'd know that in fact the move to DG as well as the efficiency measure driving a lot of this pattern do replace the need for additional generation.  In fact regulators often require utilities to promote efficiency to forestall the need for expensive (for ratepayers) additional generation capacity.  So, yes, in the real world it is definitely a cost saved to consumers.  

          Besides, it seems that people who use the grid leas because theyve installed solar should pay less for it.  Let the people who are using it 24x7 pay for it

          Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 10:01:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  APS won't have to replace their ancient coal (0+ / 0-)

          fired power plants.

        •  That's at least partly because more people (0+ / 0-)
          Electricity Consumption has barely budged over the last 7 years.  
          have been installing ever-cheaper solar PV and improving their efficiency using electricity.  A lot of the non-growth of electrical consumption is because of the Great Recession.  

          Renewable energy brings national global security.     

          by Calamity Jean on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:00:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wealthy? That's a crock... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, highacidity

      The wealthy don't give a shit about saving $50 a month by installing solar. They are not the ones putting $0 down on a 20 year lease.

      Oh wait. "Centrist Economics." "The Hamilton Project." "Robert Rubin." Now I get it.

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 08:44:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PatriciaVa - By what reasoning are you claiming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      that non-solar ratepayers are subsidizing solar? Solar users either don't have their systems connected to the grid, in which case they use less power, period...just as you would if, say, you put a timer on your water heater.
         Or, they're in a relationship withe the grid in which they sell excess power back to the utility and, when their solar power falls short of their demand, buy power from the utility.

    •  Yes I'm sure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      that the Koch brothers and the utility monopolies only have the best interests of working-class consumers in mind with this.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:59:13 AM PDT

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    •  Off grid is expensive because of needing to (0+ / 0-)

      buy and maintain a lot of expensive heavy batteries. Grid-tied solar is much cheaper.  If the utility has net metering, the cost to the utility of solar is the retail price of the power that they supply, because that's what the utility credits to the solar system's owner.  There's a big difference between the two types of systems.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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