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The San Diego Alternative Energy Meetup Group Message Board Solar & Electric › The future of our 3rd world power grid

The future of our 3rd world power grid

A former member
Post #: 276
Some people with agenda's claim solar costs 5x the price of coal. I suppose an argument could be made to support this. However in a way PV is much much cheaper than any other energy source available to us. Especially for large electric utility companies.

Here's the explanation. PV pays for itself in 7 years if hooked to the grid. That means if you amortize over the stated warrantied lifespan of the panel, 25 years, it costs ¼ of the current electric prices. So in fact current electricity to you is 4 to 10 times more expensive than PV. (I'm assuming if they warranty it for 25 years it will probably last much much longer than 25 years all the while making you money...)

It does not stop there. You can be sure the electric utilities are making a profit by letting you tie into their grid. Big business does nothing unless there is some huge financial benefit for themselves. Where do they make this profit though?

Obvious profits come in the form of not having to upgrade their 3rd world electric grids. If people produce the electricity for the peak hours then they've essentially upgraded their grids for free. It's now just a matter of managing and billing. They can give the whole thing over to the bean counters.

So what are they going to do? They'll “rent” out your roof space. Is this good? Sure. If you drank the Al Gore CO2 punch. However if you are a thinking individual you can do much better by putting up your own PV before they rip you off. Soon we will see electric companies offering some small percentage of what it is really worth. Soon electric companies will start going green, milking our government for subsidies, to put in solar panels at customer houses.

This is a situation where it takes money to make money. If you have the money to put in your own PV you can reap the profits yourself without sharing them with the utility company.

However if you live pay check to pay check and are part of the matrix then you might as well let Duke Energy and all the other utilities go green at your expense:

Duke Energy on Thursday said it is seeking bids on a planned $100 million solar energy investment, a program to assess whether distributed rooftop solar panels can collectively function like a virtual power plant. The utility said that next year it plans to start installing solar electric panels at 850 locations in North Carolina that would be capable of generating 16 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 2,600 homes.
A former member
Post #: 277
Since homeowners or businesses are not paying for the panels, the electricity they generate will go straight into the grid and not offset Duke Energy customers' bills.

Another utility that plans on a similar distributed solar plant design is Southern California Edison, which said earlier this year that it plans to spend $875 million over five years to get electricity from over two square miles of flat commercial rooftops.

Notice Duke Energy is not giving their customers any discount for the use of their rooftops. I bet SCE has similar ideas. You know, supply and demand... Don't pay for anything you can get for free...
A former member
Post #: 3
The thing about sales and marketing in business is you know there's never a shortage of fools that are soon to part with their money. Make it and SOMEONE will buy it no matter what. May not be enough to keep the product going, but in this cae I think it will. I think people will have the wool pulled over their eyes and worst of all be THANKFUL about it. The positive PR and media reporting will fuel the cyclone and pretty soon 1200 homes will be just the beginning.
Ed F.
user 3520782
San Diego, CA
Post #: 13
Let me get this straight -- a major utility is planning on large PV investment that will give homeowners and business owners a new source of income via roof top rental, and I'm supposed to be upset?

I'm very, very happy about this! I'm jumping for joy! This is great news! Alternative energy will be used on a large scale, improving productivity, decreasing greenhouse gases, decreasing pollutants and so forth. What is there not to like about this?
A former member
Post #: 281
Let me get this straight -- a major utility is planning on large PV investment that will give homeowners and business owners a new source of income via roof top rental, and I'm supposed to be upset?

I'm very, very happy about this! I'm jumping for joy! This is great news! Alternative energy will be used on a large scale, improving productivity, decreasing greenhouse gases, decreasing pollutants and so forth. What is there not to like about this?

It is indeed a great idea. And it will quickly remove fossil fuels from our energy mix. And it will lock in electric, and hence automotive fuel costs, at near current prices.

Put your name on the waiting list...
Ed F.
user 3520782
San Diego, CA
Post #: 15
It is indeed a great idea. And it will quickly remove fossil fuels from our energy mix. And it will lock in electric, and hence automotive fuel costs, at near current prices.

Put your name on the waiting list...

I'm not following the connection between automotive fuel prices causing electric rates to be stuck at current fuel prices. Electric rates are such that a mile-to-mile comparison to fuel pump rates makes fuel much more expensive.

With such large investments in PV, PV products sales will move into a new higher orbit. The natural strength of free market competition will strengthen every aspect of the PV market. Investments in panels will become less expensive with improved ROI. This in itself will increase the justification for private parties to invest and operate their own PV panels. I see the large investment by a utility as both a show of viability, and as an alternative approach for private parties to enter the PV power supply business.

The private party will have no upfront investment, and receive money where none was received before. Nice. The utility deserves a higher income when they take on all the risk.

Or the private party can raise the required capital, purchase, install, and operate their own panels. The benefit as you say will be higher income, but the risk is all theirs too.
A former member
Post #: 284
I'm not following the connection between automotive fuel prices causing electric rates to be stuck at current fuel prices. Electric rates are such that a mile-to-mile comparison to fuel pump rates makes fuel much more expensive.

I either wrote it backwards or you read it backwards. I tried to say the same thing as you just said.
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