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Old 21-09-2016, 08:43   #46
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

Horribly mis-representation of the situation.


If MGM wanted to cut the cord completely to the grid, they could do it. The problem is net-metering. They want to use the grid as a battery without paying for the battery (and the grid isn't a battery).


Cut the cord and they are welcome to use all the free solar that they want. If they want access to the grid, they need to pay for the costs associated with the grid.


Also that fascist govt people are complaining about, forces the utility company to buy electricity at retail rates from solar installations...then that for profit company can only sell it at the same rate. Kind of hard to turn a profit when you sell something for the same price you buy it and have to pay for a massively expensive grid network plus have power plants on standby for when you get a cloudy day.
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Old 21-09-2016, 08:47   #47
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Horribly mis-representation of the situation.


If MGM wanted to cut the cord completely to the grid, they could do it. The problem is net-metering. They want to use the grid as a battery without paying for the battery (and the grid isn't a battery).


Cut the cord and they are welcome to use all the free solar that they want. If they want access to the grid, they need to pay for the costs associated with the grid.


Also that fascist govt people are complaining about, forces the utility company to buy electricity at retail rates from solar installations...then that for profit company can only sell it at the same rate. Kind of hard to turn a profit when you sell something for the same price you buy it and have to pay for a massively expensive grid network plus have power plants on standby for when you get a cloudy day.
Where? Not California, surplus solar power is purchased @ ~$.03kwh (there are some older rate plans paying more, but those are in process of being phased out)
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Old 21-09-2016, 08:51   #48
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

Take that same $26,000 you put into Solar and invest it in something else, hopefully in 20 yrs it wont be breaking even, and your 20 yr old $26,000 Solar Farm, what is it worth now, what is it's life expectancy?

In a way Solar, wind generation etc are similar to ethanol in gasoline, without subsidies, it doesn't make sense financially.

I concede there are reasons other than financial to do something.
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Old 21-09-2016, 09:00   #49
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Horribly mis-representation of the situation.



Also that fascist govt people are complaining about, forces the utility company to buy electricity at retail rates from solar installations...then that for profit company can only sell it at the same rate. Kind of hard to turn a profit when you sell something for the same price you buy it and have to pay for a massively expensive grid network plus have power plants on standby for when you get a cloudy day.
I just learned something I was mislead to believe the power company purchased the " excess" power at the going wholesale rate for the time of day.
Although some utility companies may have their own specific policies, in general there are a few standard methods of reimbursement for surplus power, known as net-metering. If you generate more power than you use from the electric company in a given month, you will see a credit applied to your bill. At the end of a year, if you have a surplus of energy, you may be paid in cash, at a wholesale rate, per kilowatt hour. What this means is that the utility will pay you what it costs to generate the power, and not the end-user mark-up.

From How do I sell solar power to a utility company ? | Residential Solar Power Systems & Solar Panel Kits for Home Use
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Old 21-09-2016, 09:07   #50
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Take that same $26,000 you put into Solar and invest it in something else, hopefully in 20 yrs it wont be breaking even, and your 20 yr old $26,000 Solar Farm, what is it worth now, what is it's life expectancy?

In a way Solar, wind generation etc are similar to ethanol in gasoline, without subsidies, it doesn't make sense financially.

I concede there are reasons other than financial to do something.

Spending $26,000 (before Fed subsidy) to save $4000/yr over 20 years is an investment with a return of ~6%. IOW, it would take >6% to beat the solar investment. With the subsidy, the return is ~8%.

Most reputable solar panels come with a 20 year warranty.
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Old 21-09-2016, 09:24   #51
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Spending $26,000 (before Fed subsidy) to save $4000/yr over 20 years is an investment with a return of ~6%. IOW, it would take >6% to beat the solar investment. With the subsidy, the return is ~8%.

Most reputable solar panels come with a 20 year warranty.

Something has to be askew with your numbers, else every house in every neighborhood would be covered in panels, cause you just can't beat 6%, trust me, if I had a return of 6%, I'd borrow the money and come out ahead.

I wish I could get 6% return on my money
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Old 21-09-2016, 09:36   #52
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Originally Posted by a64pilot;2218036[B
]Something has to be askew with your numbers[/B], else every house in every neighborhood would be covered in panels, cause you just can't beat 6%, trust me, if I had a return of 6%, I'd borrow the money and come out ahead.

I wish I could get 6% return on my money
Future Value Calculator

Saving $4000/yr on electric costs = $80,000 over 20 years.

BTW, solar is huge in California, over 580,000 installed systems.
https://www.californiasolarstatistics.ca.gov

The system I'm referring to was almost a DIY system, owner purchased equipment and then found an installer separately. Not the way most systems are purchased. Yes, it was 10,500w for $26,000 total project.
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:01   #53
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Saving $4000/yr on electric costs = $80,000 over 20 years.
I guess its this number I'm questioning. Solar will give significant power, what approx 8 hours a day? If so then if it replaces 100% of your power needs for that 8 hours to save $4,000 a yr, you would have a $12,000 a yr power bill?
I know power consumption is not the same 24 hours a day, but then I'm not counting rainy overcast days either, just rough estimating is all.
Power is that expensive in California?
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:17   #54
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Something has to be askew with your numbers, else every house in every neighborhood would be covered in panels, cause you just can't beat 6%, trust me, if I had a return of 6%, I'd borrow the money and come out ahead.
The reason why there are not lots of solar installations in many states is that it is a rich persons game. To install the system requires a big cash outlay so you have to have the money up front or the ability to get a loan.

While there area various state and Federal subsidies that will pay back the initial cash outlay, you still have to have the money upfront to buy the system and then wait for the government to pay out. THEN you have to be able to do without the cash or have the ability to pay for the loan.

I designed our house so that that we have a large south facing roof at the optimum angle to the sign for solar production. We still don't have solar panels because we can't afford to install them even at today's low prices.

A few years ago I went to a class on solar power production even though I am pretty informed about the systems. I was amazed at how many people in class did not understand that you had to have batteries in a PV installation to have energy when the power lines went out. When you start talk about battery systems to supply power during an outage it is even bigger dollars on the installation cost.

Many people who were interested in solar power production where no longer interested once they understood the battery requirement and added costs.

One of the interesting things I did learn in the class, is that in NC at least, it is not worth the time and effort to net meter. The adminstrative over head was just not worth the savings. The guy teaching the class had built neighborhoods with PV installations that had net metering but back then it was not worth the effort. Maybe things have changed. His advice was to figure out how much power you needed during the day and install a system that would provide that power without a surplus so you did not have to deal with net metering.

Later,
Dan
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:21   #55
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I guess its this number I'm questioning. Solar will give significant power, what approx 8 hours a day? If so then if it replaces 100% of your power needs for that 8 hours to save $4,000 a yr, you would have a $12,000 a yr power bill?
I know power consumption is not the same 24 hours a day, but then I'm not counting rainy overcast days either, just rough estimating is all.
Power is that expensive in California?
Hmm, you are questioning how net metering works....solar puts out more than the house uses during the day, all surplus goes to the grid - PG&E. The meter runs backwards during the day. At night, the meter runs forward as the house is sucking power from the grid. Hence, Net-Metering, the household gets charged for the net amount of power from the grid.

PG&E approves each and every installation. The design of each system targets a net-sum of zero. PG&E doesn't want to pay a homeowner for surplus power, hence, PG&E has to approve each installation to make sure it's not over-sized. If there is a surplus, PG&E pays ~$.03kwh for it.

In my example, total costs per year for electric prior to solar install was $4250-$4500/yr.

Solar is cranking 45-50kwh/day.

Total cost for electric after solar install is <$250/yr. including the $13/month grid charge. Hence, a $4000/yr savings (and I'm being conservative).
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:28   #56
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Horribly mis-representation of the situation.


If MGM wanted to cut the cord completely to the grid, they could do it. The problem is net-metering. They want to use the grid as a battery without paying for the battery (and the grid isn't a battery).


Cut the cord and they are welcome to use all the free solar that they want. If they want access to the grid, they need to pay for the costs associated with the grid.

Agree totally. If they purchased their own batteries they would be completely self sufficient and it would be a different story. The grid is not a battery and relying upon it at all does, logically, incur some costs.

I am unfamiliar with public utility regulation of transmission providers but I would think that the for-profit utility companies have some commitment to the public which is regulated via statewide public utilities regulators to maintain a certain level of transmission and generation capacity based upon the number of people and businesses located in an area -- whether or not those people are choosing to be on-grid or off-grid.

The cost absorption of providing the grid is upset when more than a tiny percentage of people choose to be "off-grid" so it begins to make sense for utility regulators to be realistic about how people pay for the public service of being able to choose to be on grid or off grid. That ability to choose isn't being signed away by people who choose to be, temporarily, off grid.

For those of us who liveaboard and travel with our boats, we're nothing in the overall scheme of things. The bigger issues are the homes and businesses who are in fixed locations using and/or generating large amounts of electricity.

Simplistically, charging a market rate for energy storage does make sense. Letting the grid act as a battery for one's own enegery generation is taking advantage of the grid so why shouldn't one pay for it? It is nice that utilities are purchasing (net) energy rather than simply saying "we're going to charge you a fee for storage and any enegery you use above that which you generate. I would do the latter if I were the utility company--I'd charge you for storage of your excess energy and I might even do it at value pricing (e.g. similar to your per unit cost of using batteries), I'd buy your excess at wholesale generation rates only once you've proven to provide excess above some threshold consistently.

The above statements reflect the capitalist in me coming out OTOH, I truly believe utility generation and transmission should be a govenrment function not a for profit one. That's an entirely different conversation and involves ideas relating to eminient domain (as done for roadways) as well as federal preemption (when a unified system makes more sense than a per-state system). The USA is so messed up right now there is no political will or ability to take on these issues.
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:34   #57
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

Yes, net metering is a scam that was doomed to fail, although it did help the short-term profit seekers who were in position to take advantage of poorly conceived governmental subsidies.

In addition needing connection to the power delivery grid, net-metering schemes also rely on the availability of generating capacity that the utility must maintain. There is no actual energy storage in the grid, so utilites must be able to instantly supply power from their generating station whenever it starts raining or the wind slows down. The cost associated with building and maintaining this generation capacity does not decrease with the addition of grid-tied solar and wind systems. Generating and grid capacity / maintenance high-cost items that net-metering schemes do not account for, and this is the crux of the utilities' arguments. It is a legitimate argument.

If a person does not want to be involved with the grid, it's as easy as disconnecting one's house and self-generating. If the generation is from intermittent sources, one must live with intermittent availability or build a storage system. It is not economically feasible do do so if one is within a mile of the grid, without subsidies, tax breaks, and net metering. Even with avoided-cost metering, the economics fall out.

Understand the utilities are heavily regulated and are required to maintain generating and grid capacity based on long-term load projections. If a significant portion of the load is removed, that affects the utility and everybody connected to their grid. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it is reasonable to require a company to pay for a portion of of its unused energy consumption commitment.

The net-metering scam caused a boom in the PV industry, but when net metering ends, the industry may bust catastrophically. That's the risk inherent with industries that are built on the shaky foundations of artificially-induced markets.
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Old 21-09-2016, 10:52   #58
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

Regarding "Taxing Solar Energy" I think it has already happened.

The Wall Street Journal had a report years ago that Spain had ended their solar power subsidies due to their economic problems. Not only did they end the subsidy, they started taxing people who were producing power from PV panels, and as a result, people where uninstalling the systems.

Frankly, I don't know why anyone would be surprised at the government taxing anything.

There has been talk of taxing well water users for water in NC even though the state does not provide the water or the systems to get the water. So far, that idea has not taken root but it would not surprise me if it did one day.

Water usage and ownership in the western US is a different story since they have long held laws on water rights.

Supposedly, there is one county in NC where a company owns the ground water. If you have a well, you pay the company to pull water from your well.

Later,
Dan
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Old 21-09-2016, 11:44   #59
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Power and water are two utilities that I think should be state owned.
Yeah, I bet they could do as good of a job as the Veteran's Administration has! Or maybe as well as St. Petersburg has done with their sewage issues... Whistleblower: St. Pete officials were warned about sewage spills

Well... Maybe not QUITE that good, but--you know--close.
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Old 21-09-2016, 11:51   #60
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Re: Taxing Solar Energy

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Yeah, I bet they could do as good of a job as the Veteran's Administration has! Or maybe as well as St. Petersburg has done with their sewage issues... Whistleblower: St. Pete officials were warned about sewage spills

Well... Maybe not QUITE that good, but--you know--close.
Personal exp w/ VA has been good. There are issues in the organization, and the VA hasn't been adequately prepared for the longest sustained period of combat (15 years and counting) + dramatically better combat medicine.

But back to utilities - personally I think the best run is public ownership of utility but privately operated (profit dependent on cost management) & penalties dependent on service interruption/reliability/safety. Profit to company is kept for reinvestment in public utilities (not dipped into so political leaders can make short term cuts).
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