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  1. #92
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    NJ
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    149
    Quote Originally Posted by Wendo View Post
    You mean like the money they invested in the Solyndra company????
    No. That's exactly what I am against. If you give the money straight into research you are placing it at the top rung of the ladder hoping it will trickle down. What happens usually then is when you give the money to the top, it stays at the top.

    If you give the money to the consumer level for every $.40 the government spends, the consumer adds $.60, often borrowed and payed back with interest to a local bank, they employ local contractors to first put on a new roof if the panels are going on the roof, cut down trees etc. The contractor then installs proven technology purchased from companies they feel are stable and will give their customers support for years to come. With the solar panels in place the customer decides that a heat pump would be a better choice than their old oil or gas fired boiler or furnace and again they call in a local contractor to come and install a new high efficiency heating/cooling heatpump unit to replace a low efficiency A/C unit, better insulation, a heat pump water heater, possibly new windows to allow their new system the best possible chance of keeping their home within their new solar capacity (solar capacity is based on home history so to change the heater from fossil fuel means economizing on electrical use where ever else possible). As far as electrical use goes the new solar system owner is concerned with tracking how their system is going and buys efficient lighting, efficient appliances, and checks their ratings for generation and electrical use almost daily, how many people without solar do that?

    I personally have a 8.8 kW grid tied PV solar array. I read my meter every morning. I check my solar production every week. In two years I have spent only $130 dollars on grid electricity and $25 on home heating oil (our oil boiler is our backup stage for our heat pump).

    No it does not allow the grid to reduce its capacity any because the base is still required, however during the sunniest hottest days when brownouts and supplemental power, usually provided by bringing additional coal plants online, are required, my solar array is giving back into the grid nearly 50 kW a day, the equivalence of several houses additional usage during those times.

    All of that puts thousands of dollars into the economy at the local level and the money moves up to the ladder to the manufacturing and research level by sales of technology that is functional.

  2. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Jurupa Valley, CA
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    1,762
    Quote Originally Posted by SolarMike View Post
    Actually, load shifting does save the utility a lot of money. Look at the peak power costs to the utility. Back when Enron was in biz, the cost of a peak kwh passed $1.00 and there is still a big discrepancy in off peak market prices and peak market prices.

    This is why subsidizing solar thermal for electric water heaters is good. Even if it costs the utility $.25/kwh to subsidize it, it might be saving them $.50/kwh. There is good economics behind it in some cases. I seem to recall that the CEC says the utility cannot charge more than X amount to the customer (after the nuttiness of the Enron scandal).
    You are looking at this with the assumption that government regulation SHOULD be there. I am talking about if the government regulation wasn't there. If that were the case, electrical prices would follow generation costs, and the power companies would be perfectly happy running the less efficient peaker plant, to produce more peak energy, to sell at a greater profit margin per kWh than the off-peak energy. The government regulation, however, has forced utility companies to be the ONLY industry in history to try to incentivize their customers to buy less of their product, and tries to get them to buy the cheaper off-peak product. They do NOT do this for their own good, but because the government forces them to do so.

    I think we'd have a far better energy situation if the government got out of the way, let rates fluctuate as costs do, and allow utility companies to actually make enough income to actually maintain and improve their delivery systems. The grid started it's rampant decline in relative capability not just because the usage started to increase, but because the utility companies are forced at the bare edge of solvency by the utility commissions, and cannot spend what they need to spend keeping them active.

    What if the government regulations, instead of regulating the markets away from natural equilibrium, simply penalized power companies for distribution failures. Yes, prices would go up - but that money would go into improving the electrical system's reliability.

  3. #94
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    Mar 2010
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    28
    interesting

  4. #95
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    "I think we'd have a far better energy situation if the government got out of the way, let rates fluctuate as costs do, and allow utility companies to actually make enough income to actually maintain and improve their delivery systems. "

    So a company like Duke/Progress Energy, the largest in the nation could raise their rates 15% without government consent? No thanks. My rates just went up 6% with the Governments permission. Without the governement I'm sure they would of gone up 15%. that's what happends when you have a monopoly.

  5. #96
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete838 View Post
    Do you really think that half billion dollars that went to Solyndra had anything to do with a company trying to succeed?
    Yes I do, I do not believe in government conspiracy plans. The historical facts about the Bush administrations involvement make it clear that the program's funding was not a payback of any sort.
    "Because one of the Solyndra investors, Argonaut Venture Capital, is funded by George Kaiser — a man who donated money to the Obama campaign — the loan guarantee has been attacked as being political in nature. What critics don’t mention is that one of the earliest and largest investors, Madrone Capital Partners, is funded by the family that started Wal-Mart, the Waltons. The Waltons have donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates over the years."

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/201...tee/?mobile=nc

  6. #97
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    83
    And I'd like to point out of all renewables solar PV probably is around 1%.

    For some reason it is singled out as a scrape goat. I'm guesssing because HVAC people are pissed the government gives a home owner 30% back for solar but zero for upgrading to a high Eff. HVAC system (I know they had a program a couple of years ago, but not now).

    The fact of the matter is that Heating and Cooling/ HVAC is the biggest residential energy use by far and you can either be in this industry and support energy effcient homes or give consumers an ineffcient spider web of attic duct work with over a 25% effciency loss like in my home .

    Solar PV is not going to make a huge impact, due to it's cost, but what you do every day and how you educate your clients can. I'd focus on that, instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  7. #98
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Jurupa Valley, CA
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    1,762
    Quote Originally Posted by newstudent View Post
    "I think we'd have a far better energy situation if the government got out of the way, let rates fluctuate as costs do, and allow utility companies to actually make enough income to actually maintain and improve their delivery systems. "

    So a company like Duke/Progress Energy, the largest in the nation could raise their rates 15% without government consent? No thanks. My rates just went up 6% with the Governments permission. Without the governement I'm sure they would of gone up 15%. that's what happends when you have a monopoly.
    So how much has Duke's costs gone up in that time? Do you think you can have rampant increases in the cost of the SOURCE of electricity, and not have to pay more for it?

  8. #99
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
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    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by newstudent View Post
    sThe half a billion would of been better spent installing solar hot water heaters all across the USA.
    The government shouldn't be spending money they have to borrow against our great grandchildrens future income, period.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  9. #100
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by vangoghsear View Post
    No it does not allow the grid to reduce its capacity any because the base is still required, however during the sunniest hottest days when brownouts and supplemental power, usually provided by bringing additional coal plants online
    I just wanted point out that coal plants are only used for baseline generation, as they are not capable of being quickly brought on and off line.
    Natural gas and petroleum fuel burning plants are used for peak demand.

    As for the rest of your post, the entire first paragraph is a logical fallacy based on the incorrect idea that there is a net economic benefit from the government spending money to subsidize your solar purchase.
    That 40 cents of every dollar subsidizing your solar purchase has to first be confiscated from the private sector, and the government has to confiscate at least 50 or 60 cents in order to pass the 40 cents on to you.
    Most of the parts and pieces of your solar system were also likely manufactured in China. Even if the final assembly was in the USA, many/most of the component pieces came from China.

    The net long term economic "benefit" of the government helping pay for your solar PV system is a negative value.

    Please understand, I've got nothing against people putting grid tied solar PV systems on their home, I'll be putting one in my house as soon as the cost comes down to the point that the economics of it work, but the government should not be involved with funding it in any way.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  10. #101
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,096
    Quote Originally Posted by BParson03 View Post
    I was just wondering how environmentally conscious each of you are, and what sort of things that you do, or don't do to contribute to that.
    This is how it works. If you are living in Europe you are automatically "green" because everything there is expensive; electrical energy, gasoline, natural gas and heating fuel. So you as an European you drive car with engine little over 1 liter, you will almost kill your family member for leaving light on in an unoccupied room, you will know central air conditioning only from American movies, you will air dry your washed clothes instead using electric dryer.
    If you live in the USA you are used to comfortable living and most of you can effort these luxuries and you do not want to hear about this “green” BS. Simple as that.

  11. #102
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    I just wanted point out that coal plants are only used for baseline generation, as they are not capable of being quickly brought on and off line.
    Natural gas and petroleum fuel burning plants are used for peak demand.
    I looked that up. You are correct. That is usually the case. I did some work in a coal fired plant that was only used for peak, or at least that is what they told me, but what you said makes more sense.

    However, my solar panels and inverter were German made (not that that's any different)

  12. #103
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by vangoghsear View Post
    However, my solar panels and inverter were German made (not that that's any different)
    Well, at least they are probably not junk!
    With the global nature of the way electronic parts are sourced, the individual components used to assemble the panels and inverter came from all over the place, but most of the parts and pieces used to build electronics come from the pacific rim. The good ones from Japan, or a Japanese company operating a factory in another Asian country, the cheap ones from China.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  13. #104
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    You are looking at this with the assumption that government regulation SHOULD be there. I am talking about if the government regulation wasn't there. If that were the case, electrical prices would follow generation costs, and the power companies would be perfectly happy running the less efficient peaker plant, to produce more peak energy, to sell at a greater profit margin per kWh than the off-peak energy. The government regulation, however, has forced utility companies to be the ONLY industry in history to try to incentivize their customers to buy less of their product, and tries to get them to buy the cheaper off-peak product. They do NOT do this for their own good, but because the government forces them to do so.

    I think we'd have a far better energy situation if the government got out of the way, let rates fluctuate as costs do, and allow utility companies to actually make enough income to actually maintain and improve their delivery systems. The grid started it's rampant decline in relative capability not just because the usage started to increase, but because the utility companies are forced at the bare edge of solvency by the utility commissions, and cannot spend what they need to spend keeping them active.

    What if the government regulations, instead of regulating the markets away from natural equilibrium, simply penalized power companies for distribution failures. Yes, prices would go up - but that money would go into improving the electrical system's reliability.
    Actually, I am looking at what IS, not what I want it to be. To me govt regulation is neither a good thing not a bad thing, in it self. If it works for the general populace than it is a good thing if not, it is a bad thing. No ideology in it.

    As for not regulating the power companies, I hope you will remember Enron. 1000s of people ended paying out their life savings to a dis-honest company. I remember those days in the 90s very well because we had a very right wing provincial government that wanted to privatize Ontario Hydro but the Enron debacle taught them that it was not in the publics interest.

    So if you really want to know what will happen with de-regulated power all you have to do is look at average power prices around the world, where they are not regulated. I hope you don't mind $.25-.40 /kwh.

    Govt does not have to force a utility or anyone to use a cheaper product. Walmart is here because ALL people would rather pay less for their inputs. The govts goal is industry building and cutting down on pollution while not starving low income people.

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