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Million Solar Roofs Bill Passes Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:07 PM
Original message
Million Solar Roofs Bill Passes Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee

The Million Solar Roofs bill, SB 1, cleared Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee yesterday afternoon, marking what advocates called the highest hurdle to date in a three year battle to pass the nations strongest solar power bill.

The popular solar bill, which failed to pass this same committee last year, received votes from both Democrats and Republicans, demonstrating bi-partisan support for the bill. Co-authored by Senator Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles) and Senator John Campbell (R-Orange County) and recently joined by Committee Chairman Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) as a primary co-author, the Million Solar Roofs bill promises to grow the California solar market, already the third largest in the world, by 30-fold, lowering the cost of solar power and bringing clean air and energy independence to the state.

SB 1 is officially endorsed by Governor Schwarzenegger as well as a list of more than 50 businesses, environmental and consumer organizations, cities, and labor unions.

After three years of fighting for the nations biggest solar bill, todays vote marks our greatest accomplishment to date, said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California who has been working to pass the solar bill since 2003. This is, hands down, the biggest environmental bill of the year, and with continued leadership in the Assembly, this can be the year California shows the world just how serious we are about solving our energy and air pollution problems by turning our abundant sunshine into clean, affordable and reliable energy.


edit: Woo Hoo!

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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick

Vindication - it feels sooo gooood


(and electric cars and plug in hybrids would feel sooo goooood too)

:kick: :kick:

We won one for Uncle Stan

:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick:
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This is great news.
Solar energy has been viable since at least 1974. At that time MIT was running a house in Massachusetts almost entirely on solar energy, using gas a few days of the year. That was in Massachusetts. Think what we can do with solar energy here in California where we actually have sun almost year round.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Also in MI/NT
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. FFFFFfffffffffffffffffffinally !!!
A vote of mass market confidence gives the solar roof sector the
volumes of scale to cut its margins; the products become cheaper and
the mass market becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

Its about time.... good news.!
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The White Tree Donating Member (630 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Lets us hope so - that is great news.
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. California is kicking ass...
first the single payer health plan, now this....please set a good example and make these programs work out so the rest of us can point to you and say, see how well it's working for California, why not here....please make it work....
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RobertSeattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Excellent
I've always thought how incredibly wasteful "dumb" roofs are when they could be used for better purposes.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. A 2.5 billion dollar subsidy to rich people: Republicanism at its worst.
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 08:16 PM by NNadir
From the link:

"...A $2.5 billion fund to homeowners and businesses for one-time rebates over 10 years, An increase in the cap on net metering from 0.5% of a utility peak load to 5%, allowing a million new customers to receive a credit on their electric bill for any excess power generated by their solar panels, A requirement that new, large single-family housing developments make solar panels a standard offer, similar to marble counter tops, to all new home buyers,
A 10% carve-out in the fund for solar on affordable housing and low-income homes and exemption for low income ratepayers from paying into the fund..."

Now let's go elsewhere on solar buzz. Let's try the home page.

We see the price in the US: $5.16 per "watt," up one cent per "watt" recently. This means $516 to light a light bulb during peak daylight hours. Worse, as I have demonstrated elsewhere, the claim of this actually being a "watt" is completely disingenuous.

Here is a blurb from the solar industry touting it's "132 kilowatt" 15,000 square foot solar plant in Hopland, California:

According to the link, and I quote, "The 15,000-square-foot plant generated more than 163,000 kilowatt-hours in its first year of operation. 'That's 7% above our predictions for the year, so we could not be happier with the plant's performance,' said AstroPower Vice President, Premium Power, Howard Wenger. "This plant is one more example of how solar power delivers energy price stability and does so with zero pollution."

As I repeat time and time again in deflating the solar PV magical thinking, I point out that the conversion factor between a kilowatt-hour and a watt is 3,600,000 seconds/hour (the extra zeros dealing with the "kilo" prefix). Thus 163,000 kilowatt hours is roughly 587 billion joules. A sidereal year is 31558149 seconds. Thus to find the actual output of this solar industry plant, we need only to divide 587 billion joules by 31,500,000 seconds since a real watt (as opposed to a solar "watt") is merely the energy in joules divided by the time in seconds.

The envelope please...

Roughly 19,000 watts, or 19 kilowatts.

Now, is rich spoiled brat land, 19 kilowatts is just the same as 132 kilowatts apparently but for everyone else, this represents about a 14% capacity loading for this particular plant.

Thus the cost of the solar capacity is not really $5.16/"watt". It is really $5.16/0.14 = $37.00/watt. We are now up to $3,700 to light our 100 watt light bulb.

According to the magical thinking hype of the Repuke "subsidize the rich as usual bill" there is going to be a $2.5 billion dollar subsidy of which - as further window dressing and misrepresentation -10% or $250,000,000 is going to be allocated to low income homes.

Let us imagine, in spite of any sense of reality that there are really poor people in California who will take advantage of this dubious "offer." Let's also ignore the usual Repuke "administrative" corruption that will eat half (or more) of this money. How many watts will a $250,000,000 subsidy provide as a 100% subsidy? The answer: About 6 megawatts for all the poor people in California. This is 0.06% of a single nuclear power plant, to be divided among all the poor in California.

Sounds more and more Repuke by the minute.

How much will the remaining $2.25 billion dollar subsidy provide at $37/watt? 60 Megawatts, 6% of a single nuclear plant.

I very much doubt that the so called "Million Solar Roofs Bill" ("Healthy Forests?" "Clear Skies" anyone?) is actually going to result in the ordering of 60.6 megawatts, never mind 4000 Megawatts (see below). Of course, nuclear power provides only a small fraction of California's electrical demand, about 17%. With a constant load in the neighborhood of 25,000 megawatts, the much fussed over 60.6 megawatts of solar capacity is...well you do the math - if you can.

Nuclear energy provided about 35,000 million kilowatt-hours to California in 2003 or 126 petajoules. (1 petajoule = 10^15 Joules) Dividing by 31,500,000 seconds per year we have the actual power output of California nuclear production, 4000 megawatts.

Of course, the government of California is not going to really subsidize poor people at 100%. Nor is it going to subsidize rich people at 100%. And therefore the whole deal is where. People love to sign petitions for this sort of thing, but when it comes to actually reaching into their pockets, well, let's get real. I predict that until (and most likely after) the next "feel good," "sound good" bill to announce a do nothing strategy, few people rich or poor are going to actually shell out the difference between the subsidy and the real cost. Most people, when push comes to shove, can add or subtract. The rest join Greenpeace.

This is merely an exercise in pretending, like in Disneyland. Disneyland, of course, is a California original.

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