California Solar Mandate Based on False Facts

(edited)

California has passed its rooftop solar mandate for new homes on fake facts. Is anyone surprised? Why not work on real facts. California housing is already unaffordable for a large portion of citizens. Natural gas is abundant in California, it is clean, cheap, and dependable. When and if solar can prove its competitiveness it can be used. Let citizens choose individually. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/California-s-solar-rooftop-mandate-doesn-t-12926376.php
 

 

Edited by ronwagn
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2 hours ago, ronwagn said:

California has passed its rooftop solar mandate for new homes on fake facts. Is anyone surprised? Why not work on real facts. California housing is already unaffordable for a large portion of citizens. Natural gas is abundant in California, it is clean, cheap, and dependable. When and if solar can prove its competitiveness it can be used. Let citizens choose individually. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/California-s-solar-rooftop-mandate-doesn-t-12926376.php
 

 

If they want to cut emissions a more effective approach would have been to tighten the building codes for new builds. I bet you would get more bangs for your buck than a mandatory solar panels on all roof spaces requirement.

A good example recently - I worked out for my Wifes uncle who lives in Adelaide that insulating his roof space would cut about $800 a year off his heating and cooling costs for the cost of about $800 (DIY job). Thats about 3200 kwh of electricity.

Add in a dozen LED's ($100) to replace the Halogens and thats another $50-$70 saved

A 3KW solar panel installation would have set him back $4000

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(edited)

9 hours ago, NickW said:

If they want to cut emissions a more effective approach would have been to tighten the building codes for new builds. I bet you would get more bangs for your buck than a mandatory solar panels on all roof spaces requirement.

A good example recently - I worked out for my Wifes uncle who lives in Adelaide that insulating his roof space would cut about $800 a year off his heating and cooling costs for the cost of about $800 (DIY job). Thats about 3200 kwh of electricity.

Add in a dozen LED's ($100) to replace the Halogens and thats another $50-$70 saved

A 3KW solar panel installation would have set him back $4000

I’m still scratching my eyes - in Western Canada a PV array still costs $3/W installed (< 5 kW). It doesn’t pay out in 20 years, even assuming crazy rate escalation and government rebates...

Edited by Ian Austin
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56 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

I’m still scratching my eyes - in Western Canada a PV array still costs $3/W installed (< 5 kW). It doesn’t pay out in 20 years, even with crazy escalation and government rebates...

LED lighting: $100. Extra insulation: $800. Saving Mother Earth with rooftop solar panels: $4000 priceless.

image.jpeg.ca72b69222899a6438a9959dce9e48af.jpeg

 

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1 hour ago, Ian Austin said:

I’m still scratching my eyes - in Western Canada a PV array still costs $3/W installed (< 5 kW). It doesn’t pay out in 20 years, even with crazy escalation and government rebates...

In Australia, Perth where I used to live the return on solar was reasonable if you were able to use the electricity directly rather than export for a pittance. A mate of mine had every thing geared to come on at the right times (indeed he could remote monitor it. He had an ASHP water heater, Washing machine & dishwasher on timers. The A/C came on early afternoon. He even had his Freezer and refrigerator on time switches to switch some of the power demand to the daytime. He basically used all the power produced so his actual electricity bill was minimal - really just for lighting, laptop and TV

He paid $7500 for a 5KW system and this knocked about $1800 a year off his bill. 

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1 hour ago, Ian Austin said:

I’m still scratching my eyes - in Western Canada a PV array still costs $3/W installed (< 5 kW). It doesn’t pay out in 20 years, even with crazy escalation and government rebates...

As most the houses in Oz are single storey this reduces costs as the contractors can do most work from Ladders rather scaffolding. Its 25 years since I visited Vancouver - Are the houses typically 2 or single storey?

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12 minutes ago, NickW said:

As most the houses in Oz are single storey this reduces costs as the contractors can do most work from Ladders rather scaffolding. Its 25 years since I visited Vancouver - Are the houses typically 2 or single storey?

Sorry - based in Calgary. Most houses 2 story due to land restrictions (larger lot for bungalow)

Vancouver as as I recall is a mixture of single and 2 story 

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15 minutes ago, NickW said:

In Australia, Perth where I used to live the return on solar was reasonable if you were able to use the electricity directly rather than export for a pittance. A mate of mine had every thing geared to come on at the right times (indeed he could remote monitor it. He had an ASHP water heater, Washing machine & dishwasher on timers. The A/C came on early afternoon. He even had his Freezer and refrigerator on time switches to switch some of the power demand to the daytime. He basically used all the power produced so his actual electricity bill was minimal - really just for lighting, laptop and TV

He paid $7500 for a 5KW system and this knocked about $1800 a year off his bill. 

In Calgary they work off net metering, meaning yes you can save electricity $. 

2 issues arise:

- net metering only applies to the power part of the bill (4-5 cents/kWh), not to T&D charges (amount to about 1/2)

- the electricity is a lot cheaper than in most other jurisdictions 

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40 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

In Calgary they work off net metering, meaning yes you can save electricity $. 

2 issues arise:

- net metering only applies to the power part of the bill (4-5 cents/kWh), not to T&D charges (amount to about 1/2)

- the electricity is a lot cheaper than in most other jurisdictions 

High standard charges / low tariffs is a good way for the Utility to screw over people using solar. However as battery prices fall it opens up the possibility of going screw you and going off grid - more likely in OZ with year round sunshine that tracks demand than in Canada. 

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20 minutes ago, NickW said:

High standard charges / low tariffs is a good way for the Utility to screw over people using solar. However as battery prices fall it opens up the possibility of going screw you and going off grid - more likely in OZ with year round sunshine that tracks demand than in Canada. 

Count me as still being a skeptic Re: Battery Technology

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Ian Austin said:

Count me as still being a skeptic Re: Battery Technology

Once the current generation of EV batteries reach their replacement point then there will be a huge availability of relatively low cost batteries available for home use. 

For example a 24kwh Nissan Leaf battery whose capacity has dropped to 12kwh has limited function as a car battery but would be great as a stationary storage battery and they will last decades before finally needing to be scrapped. 

Edited by NickW
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Without subsidizing solar it's unaffordable.  Then there are maintenance costs and labor.  Bird poop sticks like glue.

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As long as the retail prices for electricity are as high as they are in California, you don’t need to subsidize. 

How the heck the CA grid can work with 40% of the power off rooftops, I don’t know without huge inefficiencies. Washing bird poo is very little. I had grackels, they practically crap acid, and never did 2 pennies in maintance for 7 years. Tough to beat solar for labor cost after install. The odd thunderstorm was enough to clean. Would washing have helped some, perhaps, but I don’t know if the increase would have paid for the water.

we need a model that pays for the grid. That is missing.

With net metering, solar is good economically for the producer. With feed-in tariffs, it depends on the rate. The current market award feed in rate for large utility scale awards is less than 3 cents a kilowatt. Impressive, but other things have to be in play to use it.

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