As more homes generate their own power, typically with the help of state
or federal subsidies, they're buying less electricity from traditional
PG&E Corp., California's biggest, has said this jeopardizes the power
grid because there's less revenue to maintain the infrastructure. In
response, utilities are raising rates, a burden that's a slightly
heavier burden for people without solar power. In California they may
eventually pass on as much as $1.3billion in annual costs to customers
who don't have panels.
As I have said time and again in the past, Changing your source of power
only does that, you are going to pay one way or another for what you use.
I've been following Solar Power progress for some time now. The weak
link is still storage. My cost can be zero from sun-up to sun-down, but
we'll need power the rest of the day for years to come. That guaranteed
power will come at a cost.
When storage is so cheap the overnight backup isn't needed, and a
generator (I'm thinking natural gas, not gasoline) can kick in after the
5th cloudy day, the grid might no longer be needed. That point is still
decades away and yes, there's a struggle with taxes trying balance
things out. But, tax the non-solar home and drive up their cost, and
you'll push them to solar even faster.
The problem with a back up generator is that even with natural gas the
cost of running it will pretty much offset the savings. My sister and a
neighbor have whole house back up generators and the expense to generate
electricity with the generator is around 25~30 cents per kWh. We pay
about 9 cents per kWh from the utility.
You also have to keep in mind that the government is heavily reliant on
energy tax dollars. While taxing the non solar home to persuade them to
go solar or what ever, when that is accomplished every one will
eventually will be taxed for their own generation of energy.
Understood. So, forget local generators.
There will be a balance where the power companies are providing
overnight service. They will scale down a bit as that demand won't ever
be as high as daytime peak demand was.
My only point is that there will be an equilibrium, that even if solar
cost were zero (the absurd extreme) that bridging the gap would take
another level of effort, another cost curve or service.
To your numbers - I'm guessing the overnight is less than 1/3 or less of
daily usage. So paying 3X to bridge that gap seems absurd. If it were
less than 2X, or if the gap were just 1/6 daily power, the story changes.
For those few individuals it will become cheaper.
Until the balance is upset. We as a society are not going to be able to
not pay for our energy whether we reduce the cost to produce it or not.
The government will see to that.
Right now the government subsidies that encourage you to go solar cost
the rest of us more.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
If we don't pay for it our great grand kids will.
Basically changing for the sake of changing is not letting the free
market thrive, it creates a false economy. Oil is what people want, it
is the least expensive fuel to use and probably better for the
environment than all the caustic batteries that are going to have to be
dealt with some time in the future.
For the individual the alternative fuels are good but not for the society.
This is *almost* what has happened in UK over the past few years and
Solar & wind power energy production. Developed at huge costs with outputs
varying from little to Foxtrot Alpha. We don't have the rays that CA enjoys
and it is rare that the breeze is of the right flavour to enable wind farms
to operate at any efficiency.
Meanwhile, bill paying energy consumers subsidise the green revolution. Big
One good thing about a revolution, it always goes full circle.
Up there /\ /\ /\ is quoted 'We pay about 9 cents per kWh from the utility'.
I'm currently paying 15.5 pence per kWh. That's sterling not $USD.
On top of that we have tax @ 20% and CCL (Climate Change Levy,
So I reckon we are paying more than double than you guys.
If that is not enough to deter you from rushing to UK, the weather is p***
poor and the beer is room temp.
I really like this group. Knowledgeable folk telling it like it is.
Good luck to all,
 Mild in summer, bitter in winter.
Leon, don't forget that oil is heavily subsidized, both explicitly in
the forms of various tax credits and almost no charges for taking oil
that is on what could be reasonably argued as land belonging to all of
us, but also in the hidden costs of environmental and health
degradation. Oil is not cheap.
Sure, you're right, but that doesn't for one minute mean that the
search for environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources
shouldn't continue. And, it's also possible that the current flock of
those so called environmentally friendly energy sources might well
eventually turn into true environmentally friendly energy sources.
Agree that we should continue too look, there might be a better solution in
the future. But now oil is king and will be for decades to come. Right now
however oil is considerably more environmentally friendly than it has been
in the past and compared to batteries.
I'd argue the ethics of that comment. There maybe more stringent
controls on oil harvesting, but when you get disasters on the scale of
the gulf coast oil spill, the description of "environmentally
friendly" is completely out there.
Running oil rigs in our oceans is a more screwed up act than I could
I did not mean to indicate that oil spills are not a disaster of a
particular size, only to point out that disasters of nuclear flavor are a
problem that never goes away. Nuclear is sold as clean and friendly.
Basically all forms of friendly energy comes with its own baggage when
something does not go as planned. But put into perspective how much each
actually is used and how much energy it actually generates and oil looks
better when the problems surface for each type of disaster.
Three Mile Island. And nuclear disasters relatively last for ever.
No, we should look for alternatives but so far none are better than oil.
Precisely! Our man made ocean disasters don't compare to what nature
produces, and nature takes care of those on its own.
The Koch brothers have got to love you.
They have at least one person who buys the crap they try to
Wonder how many so called "dirty" batteries are required to equal
the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico?
Oil has been "cheap" because it is heavily subsidized, easy to
get and has not been required to clean up the pollution
There is no question that electric vehicles are the future; however,
in the near turn, natural gas will be the fuel that transitions from
powered to electric powered vehicles.
Oil and coal are both on stage for their final performances.
The king is dead, long live the king.
Here in SoCal, Nissan has introduced an electric vehicle and seems
to be enjoying some success.
50 years ago, the Japanese invaded the SoCal auto market and had
more than modest success.
Are we poised for a repeat performance?
Time will tell.
Seems a new Nissan dealer in the SF Bay area accepted
delivery of about 28 Nissan Leaf (Plug-in-electric) cars the
first of the month (09/01/13) and have sold 24 units thru
They have more on order.
Guess there is a demand after all.
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