Skip to comments.Rich soak up solar subsidies (CPUC at its subsidy finest, a pittance to the poor)
Posted on 10/30/2011 9:37:44 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
The sun shines on the beachfront mansions of Malibu and La Jolla, just as it does on Compton and Barrio Logan in San Diego.
But based on how California policymakers dole out valuable subsidies for solar panels placed on the residential roofs, the poorest parts of our sunny state might as well be on the dark side of the moon.
California is in the midst of by far the nation's most ambitious program to convert to solar energy, one that began in 2006 when then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared that during the next decade, the state would place solar panels on a million rooftops.
To pay for it, the California Public Utilities Commission earmarked $3.3 billion, spread over 10 years, ..
It was high concept, bold and visionary, and not the least bit efficient. There is no more costly solar power than that which is placed on residential roofs.
"Socially, it is a complete money loser," said professor Severin Borenstein of the UC Energy Institute at UC Berkeley.
The Public Utilities Commission reported earlier this year that California Solar Initiative subsidies have amounted to $885 million so far. They've created 924 megawatts of power spread across 94,900 locations owned by large and small commercial users, and residential customers.
The piece of program reserved for lowest income customers is not quite so robust. The PUC reports solar has been installed on the homes of 862 low-income Californians.
It's not as if lawmakers weren't warned.
The California Public Utilities Commission reports that one residence in the Sonoma County wine town of Glen Ellen received a $372,000 subsidy on a $2.2 million solar installation. A Newcastle residence received a $319,000 subsidy on a $1.45 million installation.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Thanks, aRnie and voters!
How big was your subsidy check from CHina?
Since Solyndra couldn’t compete in the market place and the poor aren’t getting “their fare share” of solar energy.....have the federal government buy Solyndra’s overpriced products, and GIVE them to the poor!
Killing 2 birds w one stone!
I’ll bet Obama hasn’t even thought of this yet!
The solar installations transfer costs from big consumers to smaller ones. The utilities are now attempting to raise utility prices to the solar producers by charging them additional “transmission” fees. These fees would be passed on power in and out.
The pattern however is clear. The state mandates the utilities and users to increase solar power. The utilities raise the rates to cover the costs. The state and federal govt subsidize the producers. The users pay more for electricity and the taxpayers pay more for the subsidies.
The politicians get more contributions from the investors and the utilities.
Colorado is already way ahead of you....
They legislated that Xcel provide 10% of their power from “renewable” sources.
So, when the sun and the wind don’t cooperate, natural gas plants are required to fill the gap AND ALLOCATE THEIR ENERGY PRODUCTION TO “RENEWABLE”....!!!!.....
“If we say it’s Green energy , they damn it, it’s Green energy!!!
Typical. The last time there was some deregulation this was the same ploy. At that time Enron was involved. LADWP is a master at this stuff in Los Angeles.
All of a sudden, using the same transmission lines, same maintenance, etc their cost of transmission = $0.10/kWh and an alternate suppliers is $0.16/kWh and with the slim margins in energy, the competitor is put out of business by the quasi-governmental agency. Recall, LADWP is in bed with the City, the Los Angeles Housing Department and other agencies.
When will certain people learn that their country is being stolen out from under them leaving them in the dark. The left will help only certain segments of the left ; then they will destroy the ones on the left they don’t need as an example. They lead by fear; so they have to destroy the very fools who fight with them.
I hear FSLR may have Solyndra problems.
On the other hand, electrical generation from woody biomass is not considered “green” enough to warrant a subsidy. Our northern CA and Sierra forests are choked with fuels. The Regional Forester for the National Forests has a goal to treat 500,000 acres per year, (he would like a target of 1 million,) in order to retore forest health, resiliency and community safety, as well as to create jobs. (Note: The organic act authorizing National Forests established their purpose as “securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States Also, in Sierra Club v. Hardin, 325 F. Supp. 99 - D. Alaska, 1971, the court ruled that the Secretary of Agriculture may also consider the economic well-being of the citizens of a state wherein timber is located in administering national forest lands “for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States.”)
The work to thin, masticate, pile and burn costs money and that is a major limiting factor. There just isn’t enough in the Forest Service budget to pay people to do this. This results in heavy wildfire costs to forests, wildlife, water quality and private property. What is needed is a market-based offset to the costs - such as wood products or biomass chipping and pelletizing for energy and heat. The money that can come back from marketing end products can cover some of the costs or even make a profit if the environmentalists allow larger trees from 20-30 inches in diameter to be appropriately thinned.
A rate support for purchase of biomass energy comparable to solar and wind would get the system started, which would feed back in making biomass removal more affordable. This would reduce fuel risks, wildfire costs and create jobs in economically struggling forest areas where unemployment is well above 20%.
There is actually a Plumas County effort (feed-in tarrif) before the PUC to accomplish just this purpose.