Hanging on tight to your monopoly

david52_gwApril 20, 2014

"WASHINGTON - The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry.

But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent.

He was a solar-energy consumer.

Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies.

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.
Alarmed environmentalists and their allies in the solar industry have fought back, battling the other side to a draw so far. Both sides say the fight is growing more intense as new states, including Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, enter the fray.

At the nub of the dispute are two policies found in dozens of states. One requires utilities to get a certain share of power from renewable sources. The other, known as net metering, guarantees homeowners or businesses with solar panels on their roofs the right to sell any excess electricity back into the power grid at attractive rates.

Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model. Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive.

The power industry argues that net metering provides an unfair advantage to solar consumers, who don't pay to maintain the power grid although they draw money from it and rely on it for backup on cloudy days. The more people produce their own electricity through solar, the fewer are left being billed for the transmission lines, substations and computer systems that make up the grid, industry officials say.

"If you are using the grid and benefiting from the grid, you should pay for it," said David Owens, executive vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, the advocacy arm for the industry. "If you don't, other customers have to absorb those costs."

The institute has warned power companies that profits could erode catastrophically if current policies and market trends continue. If electricity companies delay in taking political action, the group warned in a report, "it may be too late to repair the utility business model."
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates." - snip -

/oh, who will save of the massive energy conglomerates from the roof-top solar menace? Who?

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

What will finally be too much? These people are sacking this country and have corrupted democracy beyond anything we could have imagined just a couple decades ago. What point will be critical mass, when enough people clue in that we just explode in outrage?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Although it is a fact that if more than some small percentage of customers are grid-tied with net-zero pv, the grid will fail.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Personally, I'd be more interested in rigging up some solar system that would run air conditioners, a chest freezer, and my refrigerator on a hot sunny day than worrying about spending a lot more and tying into the grid.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:41PM
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I agree, cooling is the perfect use for pv, and acts as a battery.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Being grid tied is fundamental to solar because the sun doesn't shine at night. As surprising as it sounds you might need electricity at night and to have to have your system tied to batteries is not cost effective. It is easy enough to set the price that you get paid for the energy that you feed into the system during the day be established at a point that also supports the infrastructure of the system you are feeding into. Only morons wouldn't figure that out...or evil wealthy people determined to control populations by making sure they control all energy sources.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Geothermal electricity then?

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki type link

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:39PM
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Big oil needs to go.

We've had the technology to get around it like forever,but there's too much money tied up in it and those who reap the profits are never going to let it happen.

Perhaps one day it will change but I don't see it coming anytime soon.

Many years ago I dated a girl who's dad was involved in designing a car that would run on water...and he feared(justly so)for his life.

Anyone with the answers to the problem is likely to be payed off to keep their advances to themselves.

It really does seem hopeless sometimes :(

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Posted by asleep_in_the_garden Rochopolis Minnesota (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 20:02

Big oil needs to go.


Until you use alternative energy instead of fossil fuel to get around, until you get rid of plastic, including your keyboard, you are a hypocrite.

"Big Oil" will be replaced by "Big" something else.

Do you think solar energy will be free if someone else harnesses it for you?

In the meantime, I don't see many people refusing to use it on principles.

That means there are none.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 21:39

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Very well then.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:56PM
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What do you imagine "runs on water" means?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:51PM
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Separating the hydrogen is likely part of it but I know nothing of the details. Never met him. His daughter and I never discussed it. A third party informed me later actually.

Wonder if the wiki has any answers.

May dig a bit. :)

Edited to say I found a link.
Haven't read it yet but figured I'd throw it up real quick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki type stuff

This post was edited by asleep_in_the_garden on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 22:59

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:56PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Hmmm. Unless they could develop an engine to run on SEA water, converting our dwindling supplies of fresh water into profligate driving doesn't sound as great as at initial thought. If it ever does become possible, though, I'll quick buy some RV stock, and, heck, one of those unused RVs parked in back yards all over the country.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:45AM
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I mention it because there is apparently an idea out there that water can explode in an ICE like gasoline does. Somehow people have confused the reality of water-injection with a fantasy that water can do what gasoline does if only the nefarious big oil guys would let it happen.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Commercial production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles starts next year -

"The first thing you notice about Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell SUV is that you hardly feel like you're driving. It's more like you're floating. When the engine kicks in, you don't get the jolt that you do with a car that runs on gasoline. It's not even like a typical hybrid, which starts you off on battery power before handing you off to the fossil-fuel engine.
Instead, the converted Highlander I drove to my dentist Friday morning was a hybrid of a different kind. A nickel-metal hydride battery still got the car moving from a standstill, but where an ordinary engine would sit under the hood, burning up dead dinosaurs, was an electric motor hooked up to four tanks holding 5 kilos of hydrogen gas.
Unlike with ordinary cars, the fuel isn't burned. It's passed through a membrane that turns the hydrogen gas into water - a process that draws on outside air to create electricity for the engine. Fuel cell technology sounds like science fiction. But it's coming very soon to the mass market: Hyundai has plans to introduce a commercial fuel cell vehicle as early as this year, and Toyota will debut its hydrogen-powered car in 2015." snip

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:21AM
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If only... those in a position to actually do something about the mess that our power grid system will shortly become... had actually acted to do something proactively, instead of sit idly at the top collecting their gains from dirty energy... they could have moved toward pulling solar and wind power into a workable public position.

Instead, they dragged their heels thinking the public would never be able to operate free and clear of the big grid... or would not be in a position to sell excess solar power back to them, leaving them grasping for funds to maintain the grids.

Instead of standing up and being the first, instead of initiating research and development, instead of being at the head of solar and wind turbine technology and energy production... they are now scrambling to legislate in their favor, once again sucking the funds out of the public.

Oklahoma recently passed some legislation that hits the consumer solar power that furnishes its excess to the power company.

OFF the grid. That's where we want to be. Not connected in any way to a commercial source. The key is redundancy in systems... solar, with wind turbine backup... stored in battery banks... backed up by hydro-power or gasifier... or steam power... all the way to wood and beyond.

If the sun isn't shining, the wind is blowing... and if the wind isn't blowing, we can utilize a different technology, including geothermal, etc... to produce and store enough power, and use less power.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Jodik-your scenario is only possible for the few. What about all the people living in condos and apartment buildings? If each and every household had to have the infrastructure to store power-or for that matter to make power, you have a very expensive cranky system that needs maintenance and converters for every family. This is not sensible. We can take the profit out of it by making power systems public as they are in lots of small towns in America.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:11PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

making power systems public as they are in lots of small towns in America.

Water and electric utilities are municipally owned in Los Angeles.

When the rest of California was fearing rolling black-outs and facing extortion by Enron and Duke Energy, we had few worries. iirc, our home experienced a brief brown-out during this period.

From Wiki (with footnotes): Most notable, the city of Los Angeles was unaffected by the crisis because public utilities in California (including the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power) were exempt from the deregulation legislation and sold its excess power to private utilities in the state (mostly to Southern California Edison) during the crises that enabled much of the greater Los Angeles area to suffer only rolling brown-outs rather than long term black outs suffered in other parts of the state.[21]

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:32PM
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I think the erroneous ideas regarding motive power for vehicles are matched by the profound misunderstanding of the difference between very diffuse and very dense energy sources.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 6:37PM
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