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To: Alastair McIntosh who wrote (12817)2/13/2012 3:41:51 PM
From: Eric
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It's obvious you are in the fossil fuel camp.

You guys don't seem to care about the massive pollution caused by fossil fuels.

Oh well... Just keep "paying da man".

Matter and energy.

It's so simple....................

And every day there are fewer fossil fuel molecules....

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To: Eric who wrote (12813)2/13/2012 3:42:46 PM
From: Doren
   of 16914
Solar/Wind in the desert is perceived as far better than the other industries out there. I think people realize that Alt Energy is not completely positive but its not too bad considering the vast expanses of the desert.

I can think of two that are pretty destructive, mining and trash. Both of these industries have limited lifespans too. In Trona Ca you can hear the local ore stamp mill, which pounds ore 24 hours a day, from 5 miles away at Trona Pinnacles. You've probably see Trona Pinnacles featured on Star Trek or other outer space movies.

The Pinnacles area, like most of the desert out here, would be a place where much of the time its completely quiet. A huge attraction.
Gambling in Nevada is getting negatively impacted by Native American gaming in California and I presume other states. Nevada is a long drive from San Diego, and we already have several Casinos nearby that seem to be doing quite well. They are building large hotels and hiring big name talent just like Las Vegas too.

This is the Mesquite Goldmine outside Glamis CA

Not too good looking. In fact they pile the ore up in berms along the highway so people cannot see the mine. I'm assuming they use plenty of toxic chemicals to leach gold out of the tons of low grade ore they process.

Parts of Lawrence of Arabia were filmed at the (true color = pink/orange) sand dunes below the mine which you can see in the map. Picacho State Recreation Area to the east is incredibly beautiful. But that area too has plenty of gold mines.

Los Angele's is proposing a 'megafill' landfill by rail, site near Mesquite Gold mine:

These megafill sites are getting a lot of opposition from neighbors. The desert will not recover in our lifetime from these kinds of heavy industry.

So comparing wind and solar... I think most people in the area see alt energy as far better neighbors. Long term jobs and money feeding other businesses in the area. And these people want to stay out in the desert, they love the desert, so they have to have jobs. The desert gets into your soul.

I don't think its going to be a huge problem in most areas.

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To: Eric who wrote (12818)2/13/2012 3:54:16 PM
From: Doren
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From a purely economic viewpoint Solar and Wind are decreasing in cost whereas Nuclear and fossil fuels are increasing, other than nat gas. Particularly when health and environmental costs are factored in.

The people in the eastern US who live near mountain top coal mines would probably be more likely to agree with the latter.

So its a bet. Governments are making bets here. The Japanese made a big bet on Nuclear and they lost big time. And let us not forget before 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl, when they were first building nuclear plants the "experts" were bandying around numbers like a billion to one odds on meltdowns.

Most governments operate short term. Politicians want to be re-elected so most of the time short term benefits outweigh long term benefits.

I'm not positive about the economics of it all, but my perception is that the economics of old world energy are going to reward backwards looking economies short term but forward looking economies are going to be rewarded long term investing in Alt Energy.

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From: Eric2/13/2012 4:54:03 PM
   of 16914
Feed-In Tariff for PV in Palo Alto, Calif. Imminent

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To: Doren who wrote (12819)2/13/2012 5:01:43 PM
From: Eric
1 Recommendation   of 16914

When you look at the total impacts of fossil fuels (land and environmental impacts) the "passive" impacts with solar PV and thermal ends up being puny. If humanity wants electrons then they need to pick the lowest impact on the environment. Something that will last as long as the sun converts hydrogen into helium....

Fossil fuels are a "dead end".

Shall we say... a coffin corner dead end that doesn't win in the end................


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To: Doren who wrote (12820)2/13/2012 9:52:11 PM
From: Eric
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Yes our politicians, especially those on the right think short term which is sad.

I've been working for years to get off of those finite, ever dwindling sources of energy and control those "forward" costs. Generating my own electricity will guarantee "fixed" costs going forward. Something my utility or the fossil fuel companies just can't do.

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To: Triffin who wrote (12815)2/13/2012 10:19:33 PM
From: Eric
   of 16914

There is lots of sun in California. Along the coastline that might be a problem in a few places with fog sometimes with a "marine push" wx event but all in all the state, especially the southern half can generate significant amounts of electricity and thermal energy. Heck even here in Western Washington it's no problem. The eastern sides of both states have a very high number of sunny days, 320 plus...

If you put solar on south facing roofs of homes that have sun from 9 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon we wouldn't know what to do with the excess.

It's a very, very big number.

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From: Eric2/13/2012 10:32:41 PM
   of 16914
Hawaii Asks Some Big Questions About Solar Penetration

A misplaced decimal kicks off a controversy on the cost of distributed generation.

In an annual report to the Public Utilities Commission, Hawaii's utility Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) noted there were increased costs to ratepayers as the result of a net metering policy put in place to drive the growth of rooftop solar.

The increase to ratepayers, added to cover the rise in the fixed cost of grid operations resulting from the use of net metering and more solar, was 30 cents per month. But the initial news on that increase misplaced the decimal point and reported it as $3.00 per month.

That's not a lot of money, but it was enough to bring forth some controversy over how much of a rate increase utility customers must bear for adding rooftop solar and other renewables.

The controversy in Hawaii was aggravated by the fact that the charge was only added to the bills of those who do not have solar systems. With net metering, the meters of those who have rooftop systems turn backward when the Hawaiian sun shines. As a result, they pay minimal charges to HECO and do not incur the full cost of grid operations.

This is not simply a matter of which Hawaii residents should pay for solar or how much they should pay. It is a matter of whether adding solar capacity is worth the cost to Hawaiian residents.

One recent study found the price of electricity has already doubled in the last decade for about half of U.S. homes. Utilities from Nantucket Sound to Waimea Bay will be forced to ponder the question HECO now faces.

HECO faces the question now because the island's electricity rate has climbed faster than anywhere else in the country. That is because, explained HECO spokesperson Darren Pai, “ almost all of Hawaii’s electricity generation comes from imported oil.” (Actually, 76 percent of Hawaii's electricity comes from oil.)

Power prices started escalating in 2008 when the price of oil went to nearly $150 per barrel. They have since fluctuated. Last year, Pai said, HECO’s ratepayers’ bills increased “$61 per month, and $57 of that was due to the increase in the price of oil.”

This happened because Hawaii’s electricity comes from its imports of diesel, low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO), and naphtha. These are the same petroleum products post-Fukushima Japanbegan requiring in unprecedented quantities following the shutdown of its nuclear generators. “They’re bidding the price of oil up and we’re the victims of that,” explained Hawaii Solar Energy Association President Mark Duda, “and of setting up a system that makes us a victim of that.”

HECO’s rate structure makes the problem worse, Duda said, because “the utility can’t hedge the fuel price increase. It is passed directly to the ratepayer.”

A big part of the answer to this dilemma for Hawaii is rooftop solar. According to Pai, the state’s installed solar doubled last year, from some 5,100 systems representing 40 megawatts to 10,400 systems and 78 megawatts. That is still a small portion of the state’s 1,700-megawatt peak demand. But at that rate of growth, things shift fast.

Along with the exploitation of its geothermal, rooftop solar -- driven by net metering -- promises to have an important impact on Hawaii’s energy future if the majority of ratepayers do not impede growth by rebelling against the utility bill premium imposed on them. That will not happen if more come around to appreciate that “the benefits of increased PV are quite substantial,” Pai said, especially in the way “increased PV addresses our overall problem of oil dependency.” The net metering premium, Pai said, “is a small subsidy and its benefit outweighs its cost.”

Duda emphasized the same cost-benefit perspective. “Oil is the problem,” he said.

Duda referenced a recent report by Crossborder Energy for the State of California which concluded that the state’s net energy metering (NEM) program “is a crucial component of California’s efforts to encourage electric ratepayers to install clean, renewable DG [distributed generation],” adding that it “removes what might otherwise be a substantial barrier to customer acceptance of DG systems.” It does, the report noted, “impact other, nonparticipating utility ratepayers” but that cost can be “a net cost or benefit for other ratepayers” depending on the design of the system “and on the avoided cost benefits.”

In Hawaii, the cost of oil dependency was $61 per month in 2011 and the cost of more solar was 30 cents per month. The decision for ratepayers who don’t have solar systems is simply this: “30 cents or $60?”

And they might consider what a Honolulu political leader confided to GTM: “We’re burning fossil fuels as fast as we can,” he said, “and anybody with half a brain can see that doesn’t end well.”

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From: Eric2/13/2012 10:34:42 PM
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Feed-In Tariff for PV in Palo Alto, Calif. ImminentCan a city in the heart of Silicon Valley make a solar feed-in tariff program work?

What do Germany, Italy, Gainesville, Florida, Sacramento, California and Palo Alto, California have in common?

Well, as of March 5, all of those places will have solar feed-in tariffs (FIT). That's if Palo Alto's City Council passes the feed-in-tariff pilot program it has developed over the last few quarters.

It's a pilot program for the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) -- the first year is capped at 4 megawatts and meant for medium-sized commercial rooftops with a minimum size of 50 kilowatts per installation. The FIT is applicable to solar only, although other renewable energy sources could be considered later on. The city will pay $0.14 per kilowatt-hour for 20-year contracts.

Palo Alto is arguably the heart of Silicon Valley, home to dozens of venture capital firms and thousands of new companies armed with a startup and innovation culture fueled by its immediate neighbor, Stanford University. The city itself has about 26,000 electric meters and a peak load of approximately 180 megawatts.

The program limits itself to medium and large commercial solar rooftops in the interest of keeping workload issues to a minimum in the early stages of this endeavor.

The $0.14 per kilowatt-hour figure was based on the city's avoided cost. Here's the calculation:

$0.070 for energy $0.034 green premium $0.006 local capacity value, essentially avoided distribution grid costs $0.019 avoided transmission access charges (TAC), an amount paid in California for every kilowatt-hour that is delivered from the transmission grid.$0.006 avoided transmission lossesTotal: $0.1355 per kilowatt-hour

So, the $0.14 per kilowatt-hour FIT price includes a $0.0045 premium and was agreed upon as a number that would attract developer interest. The cost of a fully subscribed program would be $29,000 per year; the city council estimates that the cost to the utility customer would be $0.01 per month. At this scale and modest cost, the city gains experience with the permitting, interconnection, metering, and billing process while developers gain experience in working with Palo Alto. (Note that Gainesville, Florida's FIT price was in the $0.26 to $0.32 range, which is good for developers, but perhaps not so good for municipalities.)

Craig Lewis, the Director of the Clean Coalition, a distributed generation advocacy group, attended the February 7 Palo Alto City Council meeting and commented that he saw this as "a good program, because it is constrained and not open to residential rooftops." He added, "It delivers the trifecta of being cost-effective, timely, and environmentally sustainable, and the pilot program is designed for success by avoiding pitfalls like dealing with tax complications of residential-level projects."

Jon Abendschein, Palo Alto's Resource Planner believes that $0.14 per kilowatt-hour is a price that will attract developers to the program.

Detractors of feed-in tariffs have claimed that the prices can never be set at a proper rate and that auction mechanisms are a more equitable solution. Others have argued that having no subsidy at all is the right solution. In the meantime, Palo Alto will likely have a FIT in place come March 5.

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From: brokenst0nes2/14/2012 7:06:19 AM
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