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View Diary: Arizona utility commission rules, connection fee only $4.90/month (57 comments)

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  •  Typically, when there is a connection to the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz, Assaf

    grid, the power produced that isn't used on site, get pushed into the grid and the power company has to accommodate the flow and, in some places, pay per kilowat. How reliable that connection will be is a consideration.

    •  And, they buy the power at the RETAIL price (2+ / 0-)
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      erush1345, hannah

      The laws are written (net metering) so that the utility is required to pay more for the power than it costs for them to produce it themselves.  This is, in actuality, a subsidy provided by the entire customer base to those who install solar panels.  Basically, the poorest customers are subsidizing the richest customers, because the poor cannot afford solar panels, even if they happen to own the house that they live in, which isn't all that likely in the first place.

      It really does get complicated.  Wind power is subsidized by a Federal TAX CREDIT to the tune of 1.8 cents per KWH.  This is a sop to the richest in society, who invest in wind, not because they believe in green energy, but because they can make a profit AND lower their overall tax bill.  As is often pointed out, loss of revenue to the federal government has an enormous effect on society, with the burden falling hardest on the poor.  Subsidizing the green power industry isn't all that different from subsidizing the oil industry, because the monetary benefits go overwhelmingly to the richest 1% and the financial burden falls overwhelmingly on everybody else.

      I don't know how to make this more equitable, but I do see the problem.

      •  tax credits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hannah

        ...

      •  Fine by me. (4+ / 0-)
        Wind power is subsidized by a Federal TAX CREDIT to the tune of 1.8 cents per KWH.  This is a sop to the richest in society, who invest in wind, not because they believe in green energy, but because they can make a profit AND lower their overall tax bill. [...] Subsidizing the green power industry isn't all that different from subsidizing the oil industry, because the monetary benefits go overwhelmingly to the richest 1% and the financial burden falls overwhelmingly on everybody else.
        ...except that the green power industry, unlike the oil industry, isn't a major contributing factor to climate change, air pollution, and other forms of environmental damage, or an industry that requires the US to be dependent on massive amounts of imports from other countries.

        The whole point of government subsidizing certain industries is to get more investors on board than just those who "believe" in those industries, and to make them more profitable for those who care about profit. If the wealthy are going to shift their investments from oil to green energy, I couldn't care less whether it's because they're the hippie-est hippies to ever hippie, or because they think it'll make them a buck. What matters is the investment itself.

        If subsidizing wind power helps the rich more than the poor in the short term, that's completely fine by me. The effects of climate change will fall disproportionately on the backs of the world's poorest. Anything that mitigates climate change mitigates those negative effects.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:25:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's all well and good (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hannah

          Unless you happen to be really poor and must make a choice between feeding your kids or keeping the lights on.  Or the government makes a choice between subsidizing the 1% through tax credits for green power or dirty power and cutting food stamps.  Much like the butterfly flapping its wings, everything is connected.

          And, that is why we are doomed to changing climate.  Third world countries, especially, must make choices similar to this.  Cut the rain forest or let your children starve--what choice do you think that they will make?  Many countries made the choice more than a century ago--Haiti, is a good example.  Cut the forests for fuel or eat raw food and have no heat or building materials--we can see the result.  When people are cold, or hungry, they need those things now, and they are going to take them despite the consequences for the future.  Even the populations of first world countries make the selfish choices.  I see no way to stop it.

      •  Here in Arizona, not all the power is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hannah

        purchased at the retail price. If you have banked power at the end of the year, APS gives you a bill credit of $0.029 per kWh which is far less than wholesale. And they sold that power the instant it was produced months earlier for the full retail price. Also keep in mind that it's not just large systems that will have excess power: during the summer, my usage far outstripped my production but as my usage has tailed off since August, I am now banking energy and at the end of the year true-up I expect to have 500 or so Kwh of peak production that will be paid at the giveaway price. This was a little noticed change instituted this year; it was $0.06 before the change.

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:44:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe the low bankpower price is why (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345, hannah

          the facilities fee that they got was so small???

          When there aren't a lot of home solar producers there are few problems, but when there are many home solar installations feeding back into the grid it is a different story.  Think thousands of small power plants going on-or-off-line, and all not quite at the same time.  There isn't a simple solution to grid instability.

           http://www.powermag.com/...

          Ignore the final paragraph in the above, which is an obvious cheering section for a specific part of the power industry and read the rest of the article which does illustrate specific points which every power engineer I know agrees with.  For the record, my second career was in power production, mostly hydro, and I've seen the difficulty of maintaining grid voltage when large wind farms are operating on a day with fluctuating winds, so I can imagine the problems with large numbers of PV installations.  Hydro is ideal for reserve, because hydro can go from dead-stop to full generation in under a minute, but hydro isn't available throughout most of the country and that means gas-fired power isn't going away and will probably even need to be expanded, along with a hugely expensive build-out of the grid if we hope to make renewables viable nationwide.

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