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Koch Brothers Attack Net Metering and Solar

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Cottonwood, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Take a look at articles like this where groups led by the Koch Brothers are trying to kill off distributed, solar PV. The price point is just flipping over to make distributed, solar PV really attractive. Now the Koch Brothers and the utilities are trying to hamstring the solar industry just as it is gaining momentum.

     
  2. beegee

    beegee Member

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    Business as usual.:mad: It is unfortunate that they cannot just invest in the new tech and move on.
     
  3. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Would not expect anything different from these people, they make money on oil!
     
  4. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    They have a $1 billion war chest for the 2016 election between their PAC and the other conservative PACs that they coordinate with. Dire times.
     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Bringing us the best government money can buy.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    And because few people vote, they always get their way.
     
  7. Karma

    Karma Member

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    #7 Karma, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    I also vote with my pocketbook. There is an app you can download, "Buycott", which let's you scan UPC codes, telling you who owns the company. Pretty easy to use, and avoid buying anything from Koch Industries. These brothers are classic robber-barons. Hedley Lamarr would be proud.
     
  8. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    These people really need to bone up on their history. They need a better understanding of what happens when the very top screws over everyone else just that little bit too much. "It's not pretty when she blows." Dr. Who
     
  9. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    ..."let them drink oil"...:wink::biggrin:


     
  10. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Right behind you...
    Though to be fair, net metering is a bad idea...
     
  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I agree net metering needs to go... after the last coal plant is shutdown and when annual production from Solar PV is > electric generation from fossil fuels.
     
  12. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Based on what?

    The electricity that is usually pumped into the grid is solar and is generated at times when electricity is the most expensive for the utility, often times more expensive than the average retail price for the consumer.
     
  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Once enough people are using solar there will be a significant supply/demand mismatch and utilities are still forced to pay full retail rates for a commodity that is essentially worthless; I agree that this currently IS NOT the case in most of the country... for most areas there is much more demand than supply but this will change as solar expands.
     
  14. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Yes of solar expands, but the Koch brothers do not want to let it get that far. What is wrong with net metering if you pay for the distribution network which we do on our bill no matter how much our PV system produces and add to that the fact that we are not burning coal to do it.
     
  15. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Network fees (mine is $8/mo) aren't designed to support the grid...

    Fees not based on use

    Despite the recent plunge in the cost of distributed generation sources such as solar PV, the utility grid is still critical to maintaining our quality of life. The cost to maintain and upgrade this infrastructure should be borne by those that use it the most. Net Metering policies run contrary to this approach. Imagine two solar homes… home A manages it’s use to sync with power available from their PV array, as such they import and export very little minimizing use of the grid. Home B does nothing and their grid use is significantly higher than home A. Both homes USE the same NET amount of electricity so their electric bills are identical but home B USED the grid significantly more than home A… shouldn’t home B have a higher bill to reflect its increased use of the grid?
     
  16. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    #16 Merrill, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    Other factors exist, does the person who has solar do any conservation and try to minimize there use of energy or do they do nothing to conserve. We cannot have enough Solar to pay for all of our electrical usage because of directional issues and lack of space, but before we did solar we did everything we could to cut our usage. Since we are all electric we have little choice and as far as I am concerned we still get ripped off by our utility.
     
  17. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Affecting the pricing at peak-sun, peak-use is a long, long time away.

    The bigger problem in the near term is correlated changes in production rates in local areas as clouds pass overhead. Normally electric use follows a law of large numbers and the total changes very slowly and gently. This means that the power generation and distribution can also change slowly and gently. With a large number of solar PV generators in a neighborhood, the solar generation can change very rapidly (minute or less timing) as clouds pass over, and can cause difficulty in maintaining the Voltage on the grid.

    Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this. All it takes is small energy storage units added to each solar system that can soften the edges of the the cloud changes. For example if the changes happened over 15-30 minutes, then the grid could keep up. This just requires 30-60 minutes of energy storage at the generation rate to soften the edges. This adds some capital cost to the solar PV system, but is well within reason to keep compatibility as solar grows.

    These edge softeners are a perfect product opportunity for Tesla.
     
  18. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    If $8 isn't enough, then that fee should be raised and kWh cost reduced. You are also forgetting that home B is probably exporting solar energy when peak needs are greatest, and importing when production costs are lower. You also have to remember that net metering was used as part of the incentive to spur adoption of solar. It should be adjusted downward for new contracts as incentives are less necessary, but never reduced to wholesale power cost since there is value to distributed power production. Our utility wants to pay next to nothing for our power, but wants to charge a surcharge for their solar power.
     
  19. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #19 nwdiver, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
    Depends on where... Hawaii and Germany are there now; parts of California aren't too far behind. In ~10 years and most PV generators will be affecting peaking pricing. The ratio is probably ~1:5. If 1 home in 5 has solar pricing during peak hours probably needs to be negative.

    I don't understand this desire to give utilities a flat income regardless of how much we use their product... why not pay for grid use? The more you rely on the grid the more you pay... I currently pay ~$67/mo (connection + production fees) to be tied to the grid. $67/mo wether I exchange 0kWh or 1000kWh. I have no incentive for storage, or self-consumption. That is insane.

    Once the production credits expire it will be cheaper for me to buy a bank of golf cart batteries, a diesel generator and go off-grid. That is insane.

    Last Summer I went on sabbatical for 3 months... If not for the temporary production credits (Sm Solar DG REC Pmt) I would have OWED $16 for exporting 1656kWh... I would SAVE $$$ by turning off the PV array before I go on vacation... THAT... IS... INSANE.

    Vacation.jpg
     
  20. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    My utility pays me .04 for my unused electricity during peak hours. I buy it from them during non-peak hours at .12. They wait until the end of the year to actually credit or pay me for the electricity I produce. I'd say they are getting a pretty good deal.

    Oh, that doesn't include my T&D monthly fee for connecting my panels to the grid. Did I mention that they are getting a good deal?
     

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