Why the desire to go to solar

Why the desire to go to solar

Postby seewood » Aug 21st, 2019, 11:39 am

https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton ... r-on-solar

If I read this correctly, some citizens wish to have more Net metering where the head of the electrical department said the status quo is fine as net metering does not consider the fixed costs of an electrical utility.

"Filice’s presentation recommended sticking with the status quo, arguing the current system prevents regular utility customers from subsidizing those with “net metering.” He said allowing customers with solar panels to bank credits generated during sunny months for the darker winter months would unfairly shift the burden of electrical grid’s fixed costs like labour and maintenance to regular customers. "

Then: " His pitch for the status quo was met with resistance from council.
“What we’ve got here is a classic argument from staff and no action, which equals no progress,” Coun. Julius Bloomfield said. “Without progress in the system, equals a loss of support for our city utility from the consumer. The consumers expect progress.”

So, what is the point actually of installing thousands of dollars of solar panels to achieve free electricity in 20 or more years when the savings have exceeded the capital cost and maintenance?
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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby rustled » Aug 22nd, 2019, 11:20 am

I was puzzled by this, too.

John owns a home with the perfect location for solar panels, and can afford said panels, and can therefore reduce his energy bills by using his own power. It's up to him to decide whether or not this is a worthwhile investment.

Jane lives in a condo where the residents have gotten together and decide to install solar panels. They try to figure out a way to use the energy produced to reduce their bills. It's up to them to decide whether or not this is a worthwhile investment.

John's neighbour, Mary, is also a homeowner but has no location suitable for solar panels. Regardless of what John and Jane end up deciding, Mary must pay for all the energy used in her home.

Next to them is Susan, a renter. Her landlord isn't interested in installing solar panels. Like Mary, regardless of what John and Jane decide, Susan pays for all of the energy used in her home.

The councillors think it's a good idea to encourage those like John and Jane by making their energy even more affordable.

Mr. Bloomfield seems to think this is the sort of "progress" we consumers want: where our council helps those who have the means pay less, while the subsidies they receive jack up costs for those who do not have the means.

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby pentona » Aug 22nd, 2019, 12:36 pm

rustled wrote:I was puzzled by this, too.



The councillors think it's a good idea to encourage those like John and Jane by making their energy even more affordable.

Mr. Bloomfield seems to think this is the sort of "progress" we consumers want: where our council helps those who have the means pay less, while the subsidies they receive jack up costs for those who do not have the means.


FYI, Mr. Bloomfield lives in a house above Naramata, completely solar powered, off the grid. No tie in to the Electrical Utility whatsoever. Just sayin.
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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby Trīewth » Aug 22nd, 2019, 1:14 pm

seewood wrote:https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/264012/Council-eager-on-solar

So, what is the point actually of installing thousands of dollars of solar panels to achieve free electricity in 20 or more years when the savings have exceeded the capital cost and maintenance?


The point, it seems, other than paying a higher all-in cost for electricity than your non-solar neighbour (when honestly factoring in the capital cost and cost of money) is to feel like you are doing something for the environment.

Unfortunately, in BC unlike other places where generation is fueled by coal or gas, solar PV is a worse environmental option than just sticking with the abundant, clean, and cheap hydro-based power that is the natural alternative.

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby rustled » Aug 22nd, 2019, 1:45 pm

pentona wrote:
rustled wrote:I was puzzled by this, too.



The councillors think it's a good idea to encourage those like John and Jane by making their energy even more affordable.

Mr. Bloomfield seems to think this is the sort of "progress" we consumers want: where our council helps those who have the means pay less, while the subsidies they receive jack up costs for those who do not have the means.


FYI, Mr. Bloomfield lives in a house above Naramata, completely solar powered, off the grid. No tie in to the Electrical Utility whatsoever. Just sayin.

Regardless of where any of the councilors live, the point is this would help John and Jane, people who already have the means to reduce the amount they pay the utility should they choose to spend their resources on it. It would not help the people like Mary and Susan.

In all likelihood, people like Mary and Susan end up paying more. That's what has happened in many other jurisdictions, because folk like John and Jane produce more power than is needed at the same time.

Either way, the notion all taxpayers should pay to help people who already have the means save more than everyone else does not sit well with me.

It seems like the same fuzzy, feel-good thinking that has led us to provide charging stations so people who can afford very expensive electric cars can fill them up on our dime.

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby Trīewth » Aug 22nd, 2019, 2:32 pm

rustled wrote:
In all likelihood, people like Mary and Susan end up paying more. That's what has happened in many other jurisdictions, because folk like John and Jane produce more power than is needed at the same time.


It's worse than this. John and Jane don't need to produce more power than is needed at a given time. All they need to do is reduce their contribution to the fixed costs of running the utility to shift costs to people like Mary and Susan. At worst, John and Jane could reduce their bills to zero, contributing nothing, despite still being connected to the grid for back-up and receiving bills from the City.

In some areas this has been called the "death spiral", as faced with increasing bills caused by people leaving the utility, additional people choose to leave, and so on, and so on....

The only way to stop this is to design the program to remove the subsidy, as City staff is trying to do. City council does not seem to like the inconvenient truth (to borrow a phrase).

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby rustled » Aug 22nd, 2019, 3:15 pm

Trīewth wrote:The only way to stop this is to design the program to remove the subsidy, as City staff is trying to do. City council does not seem to like the inconvenient truth (to borrow a phrase).

What would it take for council to see that what they want is a poor investment of our resources, and therefore a bad long-term strategy for us?

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby Trīewth » Aug 22nd, 2019, 8:56 pm

rustled wrote:
Trīewth wrote:The only way to stop this is to design t program to remove the subsidy, as City staff is trying to do. City council does not seem to like the inconvenient truth (to borrow a phrase).

What would it take for council to see that what they want is a poor investment of our resources, and therefore a bad long-term strategy for us?


Pretty tough when I suspect it doesn't matter if they realize the folly in it. It's a virtue signalling exercise where the appearance of doing something environmentally positive is more important than facts.

PV can make sense where the alternatives are "dirty" and where the sun shines more than it does here, but Fortis have moved to reduce the impact of its program and BC Hydro is in the process of doing the same. At least Penticton is wasting $6 Million in tax payer money on a solar farm like Summerland............

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby seewood » Aug 22nd, 2019, 10:09 pm

rustled wrote:Either way, the notion all taxpayers should pay to help people who already have the means save more than everyone else does not sit well with me. It seems like the same fuzzy, feel-good thinking that has led us to provide charging stations so people who can afford very expensive electric cars can fill them up on our dime.


:up: :up: :up: Spot on... thank you.
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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby rustled » Aug 23rd, 2019, 9:45 am

This is interesting:

[Gibbs] wanted to know why things weren’t getting better. But when he started pulling on the thread, he and Moore said they were shocked to find how inextricably entangled alternative energy is with coal and natural gas, since they say everything from wind turbines to electric car charging stations are tethered to the grid, and even how the Koch brothers are tied to solar panel production through their glass production business.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us ... but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money ... It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.” Both know the film is going to be a “tough pill to swallow.” It was a difficult eye-opener for them as well.

https://meaww.com/new-michael-moore-doc ... ssil-fuels

Our council would not only be spending our money to help people of means save money, they would also be spending our money for something environmentalists may already be turning their backs on.

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby youhavegottobekidding » Aug 28th, 2019, 5:25 am

Just like the story I just read on Castanet that in the Salmon Arm area I believe it is, a "grant" or in other words, TAX PAYER'S $$$, are being given to the tune of $52,500 to PURCHASE an electric car AND another $55,000 or so for an ELECTRIC CHARGING STATION........

This whole electric vehicle stuff is so out of hand......for the winters we have here that battery will NOT go as many KMS as the industry states......in Sask winters that -50C winter morning, that Electric Vehicle will SIT in that snowbank until spring :). What a waste of our taxpayers $$$

For the above grants they could have purchased FOUR Nissan KICKS vehicles that are rated at 40MPG......AND they start in the winter months.....besides that you don't have to use up any battery LIFE LOOKING for a CHARGING STATION, just look for a GAS STATION......gotta love it

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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby rustled » Sep 3rd, 2019, 3:59 pm

Yep, they went and did it.
City staff say the reversion to the old system means the 34 commercial and residential net-metered customers in Penticton will receive an approximately $16,000 combined subsidy from the rest of ratepayers. The figure was calculated on the assumption that net-metered customers are not contributing to the grid’s fixed costs during the months that they run a surplus.

That subsidy, however, was acceptable to the majority of council.

“Anything and everything that we can do to encourage people to take on solar power and reduce the demand on our system and Fortis, especially because Fortis will sell us all the power they can sell us, they're in the business to sell it,” said Coun. Jake Kimberley.

“But the more we can reduce that demand, the better it will be for all of us,” he added, encouraging city staff to more actively promote solar initiatives.

Egads.

Perhaps someone here can explain why Kimberley thinks this will be better for anyone not being subsidized. Fortis is, after all, in the business of selling electricity at a profit.

The motion passed with Couns. Frank Regehr and Campbell Watt opposed. Council directed staff to keep an eye on the total annual subsidy net-metered customers receive and report back should there be a large increase in solar installations.

Huh.
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Re: Why the desire to go to solar

Postby Trīewth » Sep 4th, 2019, 9:30 am

"That subsidy, however, was acceptable to the majority of council."

Why is any subsidy acceptable to anyone on council?

Presumably, they believe that it is acceptable because there is some benefit that justifies it. However, they have not at any time I have seen articulated what this presumed benefit is or why they think this is a good idea.

I think I will try to come up with some scheme to burden other taxpayers with some costs I don't want to pay on the basis of some spurious ill-defined benefits. The precedent seems to have been set.

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