In the discussion thread: California Utilities Balk as Home Solar Producers Near 5 Percent Limit [View all]
Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #18)
Fri May 4, 2012, 08:28 PM
kristopher (29,485 posts)
20. More horsehocky.
Those with small independent PV installations with surplus power are generally well off enough to afford a substantive upfront investment. The rate scheme he advocates would pay them more in the aggregate than they get today. That money would have to come from those without PV systems, i.e.: those less well off or otherwise unable to do PV.
The amount of power the utility has to purchase is the same no matter whether it is coming from a home PV plant or a 150MW natural gas plant. All of the plants sell power on a market that sets the value for their power.
All of them except the small PV plants that is. Because the PV system is, shall we say, encroaching on an established set of players it is subject to being discriminated against in both access to the grid and access to the market that determines pricing. That is precisely the situation we have now.
The "Progressive Professor" would have you believe that paying the home PV owner for the real value of their power would take money from the pockets of the poor and line the pockets of the rich. That is a piece of corporate propaganda that stands the truth on its head.
In fact, as is perfectly obvious to anyone with a sliver of sense is that if there were no PV systems the utility would be buying the same set amount of electricity to meet its needs and paying fair market rates for all of it.
That is not and cannot be in dispute.
What the "Progressive Professor" seems to be trying to say is that the utility is saving money by stealing the electricity from the PV owners. He is trying to paint the PV owners as greedy rich people and saying essentially that they deserve to not be paid for the power they produce in order to keep costs low for the ratepayers. It is justice, the "Progressive Professor" says, to underpay this particular power plant alone among all other producers of peak power.
It takes a very odd set of values to form that logical construct. Especially given two additional factors. First is the fact (and it is an established fact no matter what the "Professor" says) that the records of PV installations by zip code show that most are installed in middle class neighborhoods, not "rich" neighborhoods. The people may be comfortable, but they are hardly the 1% the "Progressive Professor" is trying to make them out to be.
Second is a fact already mentioned in a couple of other posts - by denying the owners of PV systems access to the same cash streams that all other power producers are receiving, two things are being accomplished; 1) the utility is enhancing its profits and 2) the utility is discouraging competition from distributed PV.
Let's say you could put in a solar array for payments lasting seven years. Further say that those payments are paid in full by the electricity you sell to the utility. After the system is paid off and for the next 20+ years you will then pocket that same cash stream which was going to pay the payments for your system.
Would you buy a home solar system?
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