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Calif. renewable energy goals come at a price
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/24/11 | David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer

Posted on 11/24/2011 8:55:38 AM PST by SmithL

California's increasing use of renewable power will come at a price, pushing up electricity bills across the state.

And while it's impossible to tell how big the cost to consumers will be, some experts fear the total cost of renewable energy in California will be in the billions of dollars.

In the next three years, many long-planned solar plants and wind farms will come online, bringing California closer to its goal of getting one-third of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As soon as they start delivering power to utility companies, the utilities' customers will start paying for that electricity.

But the public doesn't get to see the prices the utilities are paying. And without that information, assessing the impact on consumers is difficult at best.

Few doubt that higher bills are on their way.

"You're going to see significant price increases over time from renewables," said Aaron Johnson, director of renewable energy policy at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. "As you add it to the system, it is going to result in higher costs for consumers."

California energy regulators, who approve contracts between utilities and renewable power developers, keep the prices confidential for the first three years after each solar plant, geothermal plant or wind farm starts operations. The information blackout was supposed to protect the public by keeping power plant operators from seeing each others' prices and raising their own to match - a major worry back when the state had only a handful of renewable power projects selling electricity to the utilities.

But it also leaves the public in the dark, unable to know how much they're likely to pay until the higher bills arrive.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; energy; goals; goldenstate; green; price; renewable
Solar Surprise!
1 posted on 11/24/2011 8:55:47 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

The California Air Resources Board needs to be shut down immediately, and its members taken away in handcuffs.


2 posted on 11/24/2011 9:05:39 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: SmithL

The communists are destroying Arizona with their damn “wind farms”. We’ve got a lot of people here who need to be hauled off in handcuffs too.


3 posted on 11/24/2011 9:11:53 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed Now!!!!)
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To: SmithL

It is the marxism of the enviro-whackos.

The “alternatives” are NOT economically viable or efficient, so we’ll raise the price of carbon based fuels.


4 posted on 11/24/2011 9:19:46 AM PST by G Larry ("I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his Character.")
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To: SmithL

The one thing CA has in its favor is that utility-scale wind resources exist in the mountains, not that far from population centers. That’s not true for much of the rest of the nation, where for example there’s enough wind resource in North Dakota to run most of the country, but it’s impractical to build the transmission lines needed to get it to market.

Cities developed along rivers for a reason, that was the source of power.


5 posted on 11/24/2011 9:23:14 AM PST by bigbob
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To: G Larry

Tell me why the price goes up.

The wind is free, the sun is free, The hydro water is free.

The only expense is in the fabrication of the plant.

After that the energy to supply the plant is free.


6 posted on 11/24/2011 9:25:22 AM PST by Venturer
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To: SmithL

Californians are swirling the toilet bowl while their regulators and politicians continually reach up to grab the flush handle.


7 posted on 11/24/2011 9:29:07 AM PST by umgud
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To: Venturer

Well, once the plants are in place, it needs upkeep. That is expensive. Then the owners must keep security by them all the time, because of copper thieves.


8 posted on 11/24/2011 9:39:17 AM PST by coton_lover ("He that lives upon hope will die fasting." -Benjamin Franklin)
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To: SmithL
Agenda 21 is all about making everything so expensive that 6.5-billion people starve, leaving the global elite and their 500-million slaves to live in the Walden paradise that is their right.
9 posted on 11/24/2011 9:42:50 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The very idea of a community organizer is to stir up a mob for some political purpose." Ann Coulter)
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To: SmithL

“You’re going to see significant price increases over time from renewables,” said Aaron Johnson, director of renewable energy policy at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. “As you add it to the system, it is going to result in higher costs for consumers.”

Amazing how that works. Increase the capacity of an electric generating system and prices increase instead of decrease.

Such is the pie in the sky bullsh** promise of “renewable” energy.


10 posted on 11/24/2011 9:56:23 AM PST by headstamp 2 (Time to move forward not to the center.)
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To: SmithL

Taxpayers still funding the hallucinations of the green lobby.


11 posted on 11/24/2011 9:57:14 AM PST by headstamp 2 (Time to move forward not to the center.)
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To: Venturer

The up front capital costs for one. The need for storage/backup generation is another. Wind is awful for system stability. The rules up here in the PNW regarding wind generation has caused extra water spillage from our hydro projects which in turn KILLED FISH. Boondoggle.

Wind/Solar. The wind dies down, the sun goes down, the load is still there. What do you do?

At least with hydro, you can manage the system to match generation vs. load. X-USCE.


12 posted on 11/24/2011 9:59:00 AM PST by Blue_Spark
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To: SmithL

Full-BLown Commie-ism coming to bloom in California.. a small group of unelected appointed idiots say what direction UP is.. resistance is futile..

—My arse..

— SD U-T..

State air board fires back at Issa probe demands —
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/23/state-air-board-fires-back-at-issa-probe-demands/

California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols has told U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista that the state has every right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles even if those rules helped the Obama administration set tough new gas mileage standards. Michael Gardner in the San Diego Union-Trib — 11/24/11

I thought aiding and abetting is a crime.. as is the entire obama agenda.


13 posted on 11/24/2011 10:13:11 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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nothing more than environuts&fatcats aka modern-day robber barons reaping the profits running sham industries off of gubamint subsidies..

What a country.

does voting matter anymore..

Has Congre$$ brought back the incandescent bulb yet? stopped all subsidy programs to “renewable” energy shams?


14 posted on 11/24/2011 10:15:55 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Obama: Epic Fail or Bust!!!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

KOOK, it takes one to know one...;)


15 posted on 11/24/2011 10:22:54 AM PST by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics. ProgressiveRepublicansInConservativeCostume)
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To: Venturer

Tell me why there are 14,000 abandoned wind mills in America if it’s “free”.

In spite of your fantasy, there are operating costs, not the least of which is ensuring there is replacement energy available to compensate for lack of sunshine and wind.

As to your “only expense”, tell that to the company that spent 5 years fighting DiFi and the Sierra Club, to set-up a 500 Megawatt solar plant in the Mojave dessert, as they decried the “environmental impact”.
The company finally gave up, after considerable “only” expense with no return.
The simple fact is the enviro-whackos don’t want solutions that work.
These dirt firster’s don’t want the industry or the people anywhere on the planet.


16 posted on 11/24/2011 10:28:47 AM PST by G Larry ("I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his Character.")
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To: Venturer

There are numerous sources of info on the cost of power from renewables. I’ll quote some info released last month by the Climate Policy Initiative, based in San Fran.

Solar: $205/MWh (based on Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station). Then there is the 30% investment tax credit (paid by tax payers) worth $52/MWh. That gets the cost down to $153/MWh. Then there are property tax exemptions (paid by tax payers) worth $13/MWh. Now we are at $140/MWh. Accelerated depreciation (reduces current tax expense) worth $23/MWh. Now we are at $117/MWh. U.S loan guarantees for project financing (once again, the taxpayer is on the hook) worth $22/MWh. That puts us at $95/MWh.

I buy power for a utility in Washington state. Yesterday I was paying only $25/MWh on the open market. So, after socializing half the costs of that solar plant, it is still coming-in at four times higher than the market.

Watch your wallet. The govt is dinging you via tax subsidies and the local utility will be hitting you with those higher power costs.

For once, the SF Chronicle has it right.


17 posted on 11/24/2011 11:13:01 AM PST by Kershul
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To: SmithL

The whack jobs who decry traditional power sources
such as hydro and nuclear are the same ones who
bend over backwards to block any attempt to control
illegal immigration from south of the border as if
these illegal aliens have nothing to do with increased
electric demands.


18 posted on 11/24/2011 11:24:15 AM PST by Sivad (NorCal Red Turf)
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To: Kershul
when in reality, all those costs are ADDED to the price and not subtracted, yes???
19 posted on 11/24/2011 11:57:15 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: G Larry
I was being facetious when I started my post, I realized the great expense of getting started and we all know that nothing is free.
20 posted on 11/24/2011 2:43:55 PM PST by Venturer
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To: Sivad

Or pollution. Or their beloved ObamaCare fantasies...or their cries for more teachers in over-crowded schools.

It’s coming, folks, it’s just a matter of time.


21 posted on 11/24/2011 10:26:58 PM PST by wac3rd (Somewhere in Hell, Ted Kennedy snickers....)
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