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Nevada reversal: solar earnings rate drops from 12c to 2c — May “destroy rooftop solar power”

If only solar generation was affordable?

In Nevada there is a lot of sunlight and a lot of solar panels, but they generate electricity at a cost of 25 – 30c per kWhr. With subsidies and tax benefits, the cost “falls” to 15c. (In this context,  the word “falls” means “is dropped on other people”.)  But the retail rate for electricity is 12.5c.  So having solar panels doesn’t help you much unless you can sell that excess electricity, which the state of Nevada was buying at 12.5c. That price sounds fine and dandy til we find out that they could have bought the same electricity at wholesale rate of around two cents.

So Nevada has decided that’s what the state will pay… 2c, not 12.5c. The latest decision is to apply normal free market rules. Nevada will now pay wholesale rates for electricity. No more shopping for boutique electrons.

Taking into account all the tax cuts, subsidies and total costs, who would have thought that paying 15 times the wholesale rate for electricity would be economically unsustainable?

Battles Over Net Metering Cloud the Future of Rooftop Solar

One of the fastest-growing markets for residential solar, Nevada is the first state to drastically revise its policies on net metering—wherein owners of residential solar arrays are compensated for the power they send onto the utility power grid, usually at retail rates. All but a handful of states have instituted net metering. Claiming that these fees represent an unfair transfer of costs to the utilities and non-solar customers, utilities have mounted a well-funded campaign to reduce or eliminate the payments. The Nevada Public Utilities Commission concurred, calling on utilities to cut the compensation for solar providers from retail to wholesale rates.

 Naturally, this has been a campaign by utility companies. Residents would not be expected to protest against high electricity prices.

Not surprisingly, the solar industry disagrees. Calling the net metering decision “unethical, unprecedented, and possibly unlawful,” SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive predicted that it will “destroy the rooftop solar industry in one of the states with the most sunshine.”

Rive missed how people who want fair market rates for solar power are not just unethical, and unlawful, but ugly selfish and funded by fossils.  Listen to Leonardo,  whatever you do, don’t date them.

Events in Nevada, though, could signal a major reshaping of the eonomics of solar power for homeowners. The retail rate of electricity in Nevada is 12.39 cents per kilowatt-hour; the wholesale price for electricity in the region that includes Nevada averaged around two cents per kilowatt-hour in December. According to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the cost of a residential solar system has fallen to around 25 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour.

 

 

 

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Nevada reversal: solar earnings rate drops from 12c to 2c -- May "destroy rooftop solar power", 9.6 out of 10 based on 102 ratings

178 comments to Nevada reversal: solar earnings rate drops from 12c to 2c — May “destroy rooftop solar power”

  • #

    “Listen to Leonardo.”

    No thanks, Jo.

    180

  • #

    Interesting that Nevada is one of the few places in the US where PV is even marginally viable. Of course, without subsidies, it wouldn’t be viable anywhere.

    401

    • #
      Originalsteve

      I’ve always advocated that if you install solar, you also need to install the equivalent of 12 hours of minimal kwH house load in form of storage batteries ( deep cycle only, not Li-Ion ). This is mostly to get you through the night, but could also be very useful if it can be tapped into during peak usage periods.

      I think people are basically sick of being dine over by everyone in the whole solar mess, so why not be able to basically be power independent off grid?

      70

      • #
        Leo Morgan

        Being free of utility bills is everybody’s dream. The moment it makes sense, everybody will be doing it.
        Greens see this enthusiasm, and can’t understand why we won’t do it when it doesn’t make sense. I’m still having difficulty working out how to explain that to the ones I know.

        90

      • #
        Olaf Koenders

        The sheer cost of lead-acid storage batteries is a major factor in determining whether anyone will implement them. They only last around 5 years or so and are prohibitively expensive. Deep-cycle and high amp hour forklift batteries can be used, but even the smallest of these start at around $2000 – but that a small battery. You can “fork” out anywhere up to $6k.

        Car batteries in parallel can be useful, but to increase the amp hours, increase the number of batteries – you might want at least 10. For them to run an inverter, TV, fridge, lights and sundries during the night, you need at least the entire next day to recharge them, if you have enough panels, sunlight or a generator and charging setup.

        Unless you’re a well-off retiree living in a small shed with minimal appliances and gas stove (forget an electric one), your family will be greatly inconvenienced with storage. Best stay connected to the grid to make up the shortfall which is inevitable.

        100

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      co2isnotevil. Arizona also has subsidized solar power (tax incentives, taxpayer contributions) which gives those with the money to afford solar power installations on the roofs of their homes to have their power rates reduced to a fraction of what most taxpayers pay. There are hearings going on now to relieve this burden on the richer taxpayers and reduce the rates to all electric power customers.
      The howls and screams from the solar power homeowners, the solar energy company installing the system, and the usual lefty screamers is high volume and nasty.
      Perhaps some day we will do away with renewables tax incentives, subsidies, tax rebates,and let them live in the free market world.
      Hooray for Nevada!

      40

      • #

        We just need to get away from the progressive agenda which is an attempt to regulate away the free market. But like water, you can put obstacles in the way, but it will still find the path of least resistance, often with catastrophic consequences once an obstacle is finally breached.

        51

  • #

    According to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the cost of a residential solar system has fallen to around 25 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    Looking at costs is the sphere of cost accountants and economists. Is this just advocate physicists trying to justify their salaries when they are no longer producing the goods on pure research?

    280

    • #

      At 2 cents per KW hour wholesale and about $4 per W of installed maximum capacity which will produce an average of 4 WH per day (optimistic), it will take about 8 months to produce 2 cents worth of electricity, or over 120 years to pay for a power plant with a viable service life of about 20-30 years. The math is a little better if you are replacing 10 cents per KWH electricity (the retail price in NV) or 30 cents per KW in CA, but nobody in their right mind would invest in something like this as a power plant. Of course, few who believe in CAGW and think PV is something that will ‘save the world’ are in a rational state of mind …

      321

      • #

        Another way of looking at the issue is the percentage of capacity.
        There are 8760 (24*365) hours in a year.
        Assume 10% of capacity gives 876 kwh per annum. At a wholesale price of 2 cents gives $17.52 per Kwh
        If 10% of capacity payback at $4000 kwh (assuming zero maintenance costs) is 228 years.
        If 30% of capacity, payback period reduces to just 76 years.
        Even at this level, if costs of solar panels installation fell by 90% they still would not be economic, as being economic is not purely on cost. Imagine you were a utility company who wished to serve the customers. If costs were the same, would you choose a source of supply that (a) could supply the volume of electricity at variable quantity 24/7, as demanded by customers from fossil fuels (b) when the sun shines (c) dual-supply, knowing that unit costs of fossil fuels will be higher as a result?

        Also, you need to remember that the cost of a solar panel installation includes the fitting cost, the cost of the measurement device and the electrics to link up the power to the grid. This is likely more than 10% of the $4000 per kwh. So even if solar panel manufacturers paid people to take the things away in Nevada under a free market households could not make a profit from investing in solar.

        There is a way households could profit even without subsidies. Any electricity that they generate themselves, they would not need to purchase from the grid at 12 cents a Kwh. As in Nevada, like Australia, a major source of power usage is air conditioning, the power of the sun could be used to keep the house cool. But even at just 10% utilization, payback is still 38 years.

        140

        • #

          And there’s always the risk that a hurricane, tornado, hail storm or earthquake will wipe out your investment in panels. According to the doomsayers, we are in for more extreme weather, so any actuary who believes in CAGW would only insure such systems at an excessive cost.

          BTW, have the alarmists connected earthquakes to CO2 emissions? I guess it’s only a matter of time since rocks are more fluid and prone to slipping at higher temperatures.

          111

          • #
            gbees

            co2isnotevil … the earthquake theory must be right. after all I read a letter to the editor of a paper (can’t remember which one now), in which the letter writer suggested that climate change caused big icebergs to be cast adrift and then they end up ‘ramming’ into a continent and so cause earthquakes! now who would have thought it was that simple? :)

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            • #
              Uncle Fred

              Was the letter writer Hank Johnson?
              US senator concerned that further military buildup on the island of Guam could cause the island to “capsize”.
              Intelligence is a property seriously lacking in elected officials.

              130

              • #
                gbees

                hadn’t seen that one. no, the letter writer was a citizen. a product of our education system no doubt.

                20

          • #
            Keith L

            “have the alarmists connected earthquakes to CO2 emissions? ”
            Not as far as I know but they still have meteorites under suspicion.

            21

          • #
            David Maddison

            As a matter of fact alarmists have linked climate change with earthquakes, not kidding.

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/26/why-climate-change-shake-earth

            30

        • #
          Peter C

          At a wholesale price of 2 cents gives $17.52 per Kwh

          Do you mean $17.52 per kWh/year?

          11

          • #

            It would be KWyear. Power integrated across time is energy, so a KWhour or KWyear are just other ways to quantify joules and its joules that you actually purchase from the power company.

            30

          • #

            Peter C he lost me after 8760 hours in a year, then he says that what ever model he is using generates 1kW every hour of every day, which is OK for argument’s sake.
            Then he uses ten percent of a very ordinary output to make his case for the ROI figures. I have always argued that if these toys, including wind farms were of any use other than a stand alone installation, then private industry would have tested the idea to either destruction or production without the need for government interference.

            91

    • #
      Manfred

      The irony is that so often in Green world the wind and the sun are considered to be “free.”

      90

  • #
    Yonniestone

    When the Sierra Club (Sierra Pacific Power Co) is involved you just know any sense of fair trade or transparency goes out the window, the way such a large group of psychopaths can operate together is quite remarkable and terrifying at the same time.

    220

    • #

      The Sierra Club was founded for the noble cause of promoting the recreational use of the Sierras and to preserve them for this use. It has since morphed into a political organization heavily aligned with progressive Democrats (Socialists) and should have its NPO status revoked. Its emphasis has changed to prevent people from enjoying the mountains. They oppose any kind of recreational development including ski resorts, reservoirs for boating, fishing and electrical generation, 4×4 trails that allow access to remote regions and all of which is for the alleged purpose of ‘saving’ minor species of insects, frogs and bait fish.

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      • #
        Originalsteve

        Its called “Rewilding” – the insane idea that humans should be herded into huge mega-cities to be easily contained ( and easily culled as needed… ) while locking humans out of most of the land across the whole planet.

        The green groups had been crowing over New Orleans as a rewilding “success”….which only goes to show their mindset….

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        • #

          What’s the point in preserving the Sierras for recreation if they keep making it more difficult to use it for that purpose. You might as well strip mine the whole place as there’s a lot of gold in them thar hills (not that this is something I would advocate).

          30

        • #

          That term “rewilding” was used in Canada a lot a few years ago but your mentioning it is the first time I’ve heard in in years. I wonder if their “rewilding” description of New Orleans had something to do with that?

          20

  • #
    Chris y

    Usually net metering accumulates energy from grid minus energy to grid, so solar effectively receives retail price until total energy flow is zero over some interval, usually one year. If excess solar was delivered to grid, then utility can choose how much to pay for the unwanted or unnecessary energy. Offering retail or higher was a very generous gift from the utility. Florida has only offered wholesale on excess energy produced over a year. Ontario Canada was paying 70 cents per kWh for solar fed into grid at a time when retail utility rates were 6 cents/kWh. That has also been reduced.

    120

  • #
    Robert O

    Irrespective of the costs of electricity wherever, my question is what happens to the surplus solar power produced? Answers to this question seem to be very little, about 2.5%, and more if not many of your neighbours have solar PV.

    Whereas governments seem to assume this added capacity is equivalent to 24hr. production. Qld. has the most solar PV in Australia and it has gone from 44c per KWh to 6.4c per KWh for feed-in tariffs. A lot of Qld. schools and govt. facilities have solar panels. Still, say, 200,000 households feeding in 2,000 KWh annually is 400,000,000 KWh or 400,000 MWh (between say 10am. and 4 pm.) is a lot of production. The ill-fated Gordon Hydro scheme of 180 MW would have produced about 3x this amount annually.

    50

    • #
      Peter C

      Robert,

      As a net solar power exporter yourself can you tell me if you enjoy “net” metering? If so is it averaged over the billing period or the whole year?

      10

    • #
      macha

      I do like the comments from tonyfromoz on the subject of power. If any solar might work then surely offices and schools are best coz power is only needed during the day. Unlike most homes.

      50

  • #
  • #
    diogenese2

    You should be proud JO, the first 6 posts to this thread show amazing perspicacity of the real world in which we live. Is it possible that the world is beginning its return to sanity as the power of the market is enforcing its imperative judgement on the rationale of “renewable” energy, thus removing probably the most potent driver of the global warming narrative? I mean by that the financial nutrition by which the true believers are sustained. If solar power is not sustainable in Nevada then where?
    I link to something from 1618, in the days of the little ice age, marking the beginning of the 30 years war which, including the English Civil War, almost destroyed Europe. It was the last conflict of religion to beset the continent and , incidentally, was the catalyst for the colonisation of America. Let us hope that the current insanity doesn’t provoke another. it is also my take on COP21.

    https://vimeo.com/39906260

    70

    • #

      Where I live in South Gippsland (not the sunniest place in Australia), solar power installations seem to be going on full steam ahead (not far from the coal powered, power stations). This will all come down with a thud as inevitably subsides etc get reduced/removed ever more.

      And quite frankly, whenever you see solar panel installations, invariably they are on the most expensive houses. As always, it’s the wealthy that get subsidised. It’s not sour grapes on my part, where we elected to live, solar panels, even if I believed in them, would not be practical due to trees etc. Of course our council would flatly refuse to cut down those trees so that we could effectively utilise solar panel.

      100

  • #
    Peter C

    According to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the cost of a residential solar system has fallen to around 25 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour.

    If the total cost of solar panels works out to 25c/kWh then they are almost viable in Victoria, where our retail cost is now about 25c/kWh (domestic). I am assuming “net metering”, meaning that unwanted solar power exported during the day can be drawn back in the evening without penalty.

    Balancing the grid might not be the problem that is sometimes assumed on this blog. Residential users, coming in after 5pm generally correspond with a period of reducing overall power consumption.

    In reality the cost of solar panels is probably greater than 25c/kWh even in Northern Victoria where the sun shines more of the time. If so the application of a sensible net export tarrif of say 4c/kWh would probably eliminate the solar panel industry here in Victoria, which I think would be a good thing. I expect that the number of people, prepared to install solar, without public subsidies might be very small.

    70

    • #

      meaning that unwanted solar power exported during the day can be drawn back in the evening without penalty.

      Extrapolate to a significant number of businesses and residences having PV solar.

      To where will the unwanted power be exported? “Everybody” will be generating surplus.

      This already applies in areas where the distribution grid hasn’t been built for significant (compared to consumption) co-generation; “containing” the generated electrical power within that of the step-down transformer that may be on a pole at the end your street. The local grid voltage simply rises and the feed-in inverter shuts down on the grid side when it reaches the programmed limit.

      Of course one could upgrade the grid to handle substantial co-generation; at significant additional cost to all of those on the grid.

      Contrary to the beliefs of some, and the glossy brochures, “the grid’ is not a place where one can store electrical power.

      70

      • #
        Peter C

        To where will the unwanted power be exported? “Everybody” will be generating surplus.

        The unused power produced by the solar generators will be used by consumers, eg businesses and offices etc. Tony has already told us that solar can never generate more than a small percentage of demand.

        When solar sources are contributing power the coal fired power station can throttle back a bit on the steam valve to accommodate the solar input.

        I am not advocating more solar power but I do not see why it can’t work in principle.

        21

        • #
          Bulldust

          If a coal-fired plant has to “throttle back” it won’t be running at the optimal rate. The efficiency loss is borne by all consumers. Hence expensive elctrons are replacing cheap electrons… as an economist I find this abhorrent.

          70

          • #

            Indeed. The “throttle” only reduces the available amount of energy to the steam turbine; by sending part of the energy to “waste”.

            What Peter C also failed to note was the “Everybody”; i.e. the vast majority of those within a sub-station area. Suburbia cannot supply industry because much of the infrastructure isn’t set up to send electrical power in that direction. Modifying the infrastructure to cope is one of the hidden costs; borne by those connected to the grid. Well; at least now in W.A..

            00

    • #
      DaveR

      Excuse me but I must be simple, how is the cost of a “residential solar system 25 to 30 cents (US) a kilowatt hour”?

      Is it the capital cost + installation cost of the solar system (less subsidies) divided by rated output for a nominal system life (number of hours)?

      I assume ongoing maintenance costs are near zero.

      30

      • #
        Peter C

        Good question.

        I have had a look at the paper that Jo references above. They seem to be talking about installed costs of about $5/W in US (2012) dollars. Installed cost is pre any subsidies. That would convert to about $5000/kW. I am not sure how the figure of 25-30c/kWh is derived.

        40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        25-30¢ per kWh means $250-300 per MWh. Yes, quite believable for large scale solar generation, indeed PV farms probably about $170.
        That is the wholesale rate compared with coal fired at $30-35 and gas approx. $65 (varies downward due to availability of frakking). But you pay 25-30¢ per kWh RETAIL. That takes into account the cost of bringing the electricity to you (transmission lines, transformers, power lines, meters etc.) so you need to take those costs into account. The Green approach is that all those are in place therefore they are entitled to use them free of charge. Should they drive conventional generators out of business, all they have to do is remove the transformers etc. which they own, and there won’t be any solar power either.

        00

  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Pretty much the same thing is happening here, although fairly quietly. Here is an article which was in our local Newcastle Herald 18 monts ago about a guy who put a whole pile of panels on his roof in expectation of a good return:

    Power bill changes turn customers off

    RON Bender had hoped his days of bill shock were behind him when he installed 31 solar panels on the roof of his Eleebana home.

    He was wrong.

    Like other EnergyAustralia customers, the former Newcastle police commander discovered his electricity bill would be rising. That was bad enough … then came the news he would also be paid less for the energy his solar panels would feed into the grid. EnergyAustralia reduced the price it will pay to those providing solar power to the grid from 6¢ a kilowatt hour to 5.1¢. It claimed its decision was based on the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s decision on solar feed-in tariffs last month. But IPART only set a benchmark, from 4.9 to 9.3¢.

    ‘‘Why should I be generating power for them to sell at 49¢ when they’re paying me 5.1¢ for it?’’ he asked.

    The reason of course is that they don’t want his solar energy – its worthless to them. In fact it costs them to take it because of the capital for poles-and-wires upgrades and the back-up capital and operating costs for quick response OCGT.

    Eventually the solar FITs will fall to the real value of that electricity, which is zero c/kWh.

    260

  • #
    kneel63

    Dear Politicians,
    If you think they squeaks of protest at removal of subsidies for <1% of electricity generation are bad, imagine the howl if you did as the renewables industry insists and removed the "subsidies" on the other 99% provided by fossil fuels!

    210

    • #

      kneel63,
      The oil industry is not as heavily subsidized as many are led to believe. Most of what are called subsidies are ordinary investment tax credits and deductions available to all industry. In fact, its the exact opposite, where the oil industry subsidizes government by providing a product that the government can tax the hell out of, especially if the product is considered a danger to the climate. Far and away, the most heavily subsidized sector of the energy market is ‘green’ energy, except perhaps nuclear power which is the greenest of them all.

      160

      • #
        Dave in the states

        I would argue that hydro-carbon fuels are still greener than even nuclear energy. We have learned to use them cleanly and co2 actually poses little threat to the climate. Co2 is even rather beneficial to the biosphere.

        141

    • #
      Keith L

      This old one.
      There is no way that fossil fuels can be subsidized because they are the cheapest source of energy.
      The claim comes from a deliberate misrepresentation of what a subsidy is. The usual claim is that a tax break is a subsidy and it is not. If you want to define subsidies to include tax breaks then a subsidy becomes a rather meaningless arbitrary number which can be plucked out of the air.
      eg.
      If you earn $10 and I take $4 tax, am I subsidizing you?
      If you earn $10 and I take $5 tax, am I subsidizing you?
      If you earn $10 and I take $5 tax and then return $1 as a tax cut, am I subsidizing you?

      If you think there is subsidy in any of the above scenarios then you probably vote Green.

      220

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Or more succinctly:
        I you pay $24,500 income tax through PAYG deductions and then complete a tax return which includes deductions and other expenses in order for the ATO to refund you $4,600, are you being “subsidized?
        Precisely the same thing with companies.

        200

        • #
          Dean

          No you have it all wrong.

          Theses guys believe if you pay anything less than 100% of you income as tax you are being subsidised………

          50

    • #
      AndyG55

      Please tell us how much money renewables bring into the country.

      Mining, coal etc receive TAX-REBATES that they are perfectly entitled to as a PRODUCTIVE, EARNING industry.

      IIRC, the next coal loader in Newcastle will receive a government LOAN, but they will have to pay it back over time. That is over and above massive royalties for PRODUCING INCOME for Australia.
      Green agenda propagandists would also call this loan a “subsidy”, but how much of the subsidy for “renewables” will ever get paid back… NONE, its a bottomless pit.

      140

      • #
        Bulldust

        The “subsidy” that Greens rely on for the spurious “fossil fuel subsidies” is primarily the diesel fuel excise rebate. The fact that mining and agricultural vehicles, which operate entirely off road (i.e. no burden on the road and hence tax system), still pay a proportion of the excise, even after the rebate, is completely lost on the Greens and their useful idiot cohort. The claim of a subsidy is a lie, and should be pointed out as such every time it is brought up in debate.

        Fact is, fuel excises were originally hypothecated for(tied to) road and related expenditure, but the hypothecation has since been dropped such that the excise is considered general revenue. The fact that Governments take such a sloppy approach to user pay systems, is no excuse to pretend the diesel fuel rebate is somehow a subsidy.

        The diesel fuel excise “subsidy” argument is fail on many levels.

        80

        • #
          Dean

          I heard an interview about twelve months ago (cannot recall the topic but it was about taxation) and it was suggested that various portions of tax be reserved for specific purposes. Apparently it is unconstitutional to do so and all tax must go to general revenue.

          Any lawyers in here?

          20

    • #
      Dariusz

      Pls subside me ASAP as I am about to loose my job in petroleum industry!
      Can,t anyone expect you harping about nonexistent problem

      10

  • #
    Robdel

    Is the penny finally dropping? At my age I have resisted putting up solar panels as I could not recover the capital cost in my lifetime, despite the blandishments of solar panel sellers. I see now that if I were younger I still could not recover the cost.

    It will not be long before Australia follows Nevada. Imagine the shrieks and moans from jilted customers of solar panels. It will be wondrous to behold.

    The simplest way of utilising solar rays is to heat hot water via pipes painted over in black and not bother with generating electrical energy, which can never compete with coal fired generators over the grid.

    182

    • #
      toorightmate

      Robdel,
      You lack the power of positive thinking.
      Why on earth would you think that you will not achieve 450 years of age? Think of all those birthday cakes and birthday presents.

      40

    • #
      Hasbeen

      So true Robdel, but it is easier to use black poly pipe.

      My son & his lady have moved into my granny flat, & wanted the long defunct pool reordered.

      After getting up & running, the water got progressively colder. Once down to about 23C even the grand kids were complaining.

      I installed a hundred metres of half inch micro irrigation black poly pipe on the house roof, with a 12V Flojet pump circulating the pool water. This is driven by a 12V battery, with a trickle charger keeping it charged.

      The pool has gained almost 5C in just 3 days. We expect 3 hours a day will maintain that temperature in summer, when we want a pool.

      A bit of arithmetic told us we can run it for 6 years on mains, for the cost of a mini wind generator, or solar cells to supply it. As neither of these are sure to work, we will stick to mains power circulation & solar for water heating, something it is actually very good at.

      60

      • #
        toorightmate

        Black poly pipe is manufactured from the petrochemical industry!!!!
        You are nothing but a dastardly villain.

        70

      • #

        That system I put into a friends pool as well I just tied it in to the existing filtration system , 2 weeks later I had to install a shut-off valve as the water got to hot.

        30

  • #
    Uncle Fred

    The ALP aims to be reliant on “renewables” exclusively.
    The State of Tasmania is currently in that odious position.
    Still, the State Government, or, more specifically its State Owned Enterrise Hydro Tasmania, says “Move along now, folks. Nothing to see here”

    70

    • #
      Robert O

      It’s not going to rain before May-June, 3 or 4 months away. Looks like another diesel electri ship to the Bell Bay Al. smelter, and gas turbine to the Oil wharf at Self’s Pt. in Hobart (happened in 1962). How long before BassLink can be repaired is the million dollar question.

      90

  • #
    Keith L

    We need to get people to understand that a money subsidy is an energy subsidy.
    I have had debates with people who do not understand this and they seem to think that energy can be subsidized with ‘money’.
    They seem to think that it is virtuous to pay more for ‘renewable’ energy but do not have any concept of what ‘paying more’ actually means. In reality it means that some other energy source has been used to prop up the ‘renewable’ source.
    If you have to subsidize a kWh by 15 cents then that effectively means that 15c worth of coal has been burnt somewhere.

    91

    • #
      Sceptic56109

      Keith, that was spot on.
      I’ll bet there are 150,000 wind turbines on this planet by now, and there are no utilities out there bragging about how much coal or gas they are saving by adding ‘green’ energy to the grid. This puts the lie to Warmulon claims that a wind turbine has energy payback in as little as 4 months. Because of the inefficiencies forced on the grid (eg. single stage gas turbines as ‘spinning reserve’ and restricted utilization of hydro turbines), the typical green energy producer (excluding some large scale manure digesters) MAY NEVER BEGIN TO PAY BACK THE ENERGY IT TOOK TO BUILD IT.

      31

  • #
    Analitik

    I have assumed zero FIT and only specified a system large enough to cover my fixed daytime consumption on a sunny day. With this, I expect to recover my costs in about a decade (also assuming electricity pricing stays flat) with the bonus of being able to run air conditioning more frequently (when required – mainly when the sun is shining).

    No other system specification made any sense – all those expecting to profit by generating for the grid deserve the losses that they will incur.

    Yes, I still get subsidised on the installation with RECs which adds to the burden of those unable to afford a solar array but that’s the game the (green) government makes us play.

    70

  • #
    handjive

    But, but, will the solar panels stop Global Warming?

    January 22, 2015: The (then) Queensland Leader of the Opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk has spoken of her desire to triple the number of Queenslanders with solar, 0.17 seconds, “I can’t control the weather”.
    . . .
    One-third of Australian pensioners live in poverty: OECD report (theage)
    One of the worst rates in OECD.

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    pat

    the news from Nevada doesn’t stop NYT:

    5 Jan: NYT: Tina Rosenberg: An Investment Strategy to Save the Planet
    If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to do your part against climate change, keep reading. Now you can — with your investments.
    You’d be following New York State’s example. At the Paris climate change talks last month, the state’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, announced that the state’s Common Retirement Fund, for public employee pensions, will put $2 billion into a new investment fund created by Goldman Sachs that prioritizes companies with smaller carbon footprints.
    If that goes well, the retirement fund will put in more. The Common Retirement Fund is the country’s third-largest pension fund, so it often makes news in the world of institutional investing. But this announcement is also big news for climate change…
    “One of the biggest barriers has been lack of financial products,” said Jamie Henn, a co-founder of the climate activism organization 350.org. “The only green funds have been boutique ones with high rates.” People invested if they were dedicated enough to the
    environment to pay for the privilege. That kept green investing small and limited its power to change environmental practices.
    That trade-off is vanishing…
    A second form of green investment is putting money into companies making products or services that reduce climate change: for example, solar- or wind-power producers, manufacturers of emission-cutting devices and systems, and companies that do carbon trading or energy-efficiency management. DiNapoli also announced that New York’s fund
    would invest some $1.5 billion more in its Green Strategic Investment Program, which already has $500 million in such companies.
    ***This kind of direct investing in climate solutions is needed on a huge scale — Ceres calls for a “clean trillion” invested every year to comply with the goal of limiting the warming of the planet to 2 degrees Celsius. But it’s not for every investor. It’s risky…
    Goldman is following other asset management companies that have created passive low-carbon funds in the past year or so, including BlackRock, State Street, and Mellon Capital in the United States, and Amundi and Northern Trust in Europe. These funds were started with seed capital from United Nations, Swedish and French pension funds, the University System of Maryland and the McKnight Foundation, but they have yet to attract much follow-on investment. New York’s investment in Goldman’s fund is much bigger, and sends a confidence signal that is likely to be heard…
    In October, the Obama administration made long-awaited changes in its guidance for private pension funds. The Bush administration had changed the guidance to compel pension fund managers to consider only financial returns when choosing investments. Now investors are free to consider a company’s environmental, social and governance records, as long as they do not compromise their fiduciary obligations…
    You wonder whether New York’s entire fund should be invested in a sustainable way. What’s happening with the other $180 billion in an era when it’s 70 degrees in Central Park on Christmas Eve?”
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/an-investment-strategy-to-save-the-planet/?_r=0

    comment by Jesse the Conservative: The second I even suspect that one of my investment funds has, as its primary goal, “saving the planet”, instead of securing my retirement, they’re fired–immediately, without a second thought. Fund managers #1 fiduciary responsibility is to investors – not to some dubious, feel-good liberal dream…etc

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    TdeF

    Ha. Ha. Really! 2c per hour. Solar has its place where you cannot get power. So have windmills. Africa. The extraordinary business is that most solar and most windmills are put in places where people have abundant access to cheap power and for the forseeable future. These doomsday cult people should pay their own way.

    It would be funnier if it wasn’t tragic. A good doctor friend is currently risking his life to get solar panels and batteries in two trucks to South Sudan through a war zone just to help a hospital, staffed by Italian nuns and helpers. Simply this means antibiotics, something people in the West take for granted. So to read of people in Nevada demanding subsidies from everyone else for their personal solar panels is objectionable. It also shows how badly out of touch with basic humanity this is.

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      TdeF

      Of course I meant to write per kilowatt hour.

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      el gordo

      The original idea was to get people off the coal fired teat, but that has backfired as the comments here illustrate.

      Being futuristic and using due diligence as a guide, outback stations and remote communities dependent on diesel may benefit. In a political sense its a win, where subsidising renewables would be seen as a good thing.

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      • #
        TdeF

        This is not saving the planet from overheating or getting people off the coal fired teat, it is indulging the rich. Renewables should go first where power is unobtainable. Publicly subsidized Renewables for people who have plenty is near criminal. Like subsidized food for the overfed while those starving go hungry. It is subsidizing a Green armageddon cult.

        Nevada already has one of the world’s biggest solar farms plus the Hoover dam and a statewide network for power distribution. Why is personal solar being subsidized at all? Renewables? These renewables benefit no one at a cost to everyone else. In what sense is it a good thing? If people want to buy solar panels, that is their business. If they want to sell that electricity in Nevada, that does not make sense. How much of Las Vegas is powered by personal solar? Whatever is said about the world’s largest gambling city, Las Vegas, it is not a temple to renewables and sustainability any more than the shopping capital of Dubai. It is good that the State of Nevada has seen fit to pull the pin on this outrageous waste of public money.

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          el gordo

          What you say is all true, but my focus is now on government thinking.

          ‘In fringe of grid areas, renewables can increase the reliability of supply or defer more costly network upgrades.

          ‘From this familiar Bureau of Meteorology map it’s evident that we have a good solar resource that strongly correlates with locations where off-grid demand is high and growing. This is especially true in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Queensland in contrast has a long and skinny grid with more fringe-of-grid areas that have reliability issues.

          ‘These factors combine to make the displacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy a near-commercial prospect in off-grid Australia if not already commercial in some areas. It has been demonstrated internationally and it’s technically feasible.’

          Australian Renewable Energy Agency 2014

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          • #
            TdeF

            Talking about off grid Australia is refreshing. Great. That should always have been our target, not metropolitan Adelaide.

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              el gordo

              The crow eaters have done bad, that’s their problem.

              More importantly a leading member of the Denialati is about to become federal deputy and I expect his position on renewables to ease.

              ‘Asked about his relationship with the new PM, Joyce says he is doing a good job and says they dined together the previous night.

              “The Nationals have always had respect for the PM. We don’t want to be divisive figures fighting our own government but we will push for the best outcomes for regional people. Our job is to go in to bat for them.”

              Matthew Knott / The North West Star

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            toorightmate

            “government thinking”.
            N, I have to pass on that one I’m afraid.
            I do not have a clue what you mean when you say “government thinking”.
            Is it like “civil engineer” or “military intelligence” or “smart climate scientist”?

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            • #
              TdeF

              Like public servant?

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            • #
              el gordo

              The government is very popular and likely to retain the Treasury benches for a decade.

              In the absence of scaper I’ll barrack for the Coalition.

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              • #

                El gordo

                Pretty sure my knowledge doesn’t warrant that quantum leap!

                There are quite a few people installing solar pumping sets so you can say that this has hit the “adopter” phase. I don’t know if subsidies are involved with these.

                My take on solar electricity as a mains power proposition at the moment is that it has to stand on its own legs which it isn’t while it has to get bodaceous subsidies.

                But unless someone keeps working on it there’ll be no improvements either. Which justifies some research funding but you can’t call the current subsidy system as contributing to research progress IMO.

                There will be some who go with what’s current – the “innovators” in the old technology transfer hierarchy if you like, the “Prius owners” in current terminology.

                But about there I am reminded of this verse from Rudyard Kipling’s “Certain Maxims of Hafiz”

                “If he play, being young and unskillful

                For shekels of silver and gold

                Take his money by all means, praise Allah.

                The kid was ordained to be sold.”

                And government enthusiasms seem to often place them in the “kid” category IMO.

                When it gets taken up by the “early adopters” and the “adopters” then you can say it has come of age. And it HAS to be reliable in remote situations where access to parts and servicing is hard to come by and expensive. The sort of place where you learn that “just in time supply” only works if it arrives just in time. Mean Time Before Failure is pretty high for a modern diesel (even an old one as we have a 1940 and 1955 vintage ones still running bores) and solar will have to equal or better this I’d reckon. And it has to be cost effective as well. So when the beancounters for big station chains take it on you can say it has arrived.

                We fall into the “kid class” above in that we went solar hot water. Two tanks eaten out in 19 years (and the anodes weren’t eaten out either) convinced us that it was a bloody expensive hobby. Theoretically sound but practically imperfect. We are now on-demand gas after a district survey of “what works”. The plumber who installed it knows of only two solar ones left in a district with plenty of sunshine. Similar story with Davey Hydroscan pumps.

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                Oops.

                This is in answer to el gordo at 18.2.1.1.5

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            • #

              “Government thinking”.

              Probably a lower rated oxymoron than “government intelligence”

              But how about “government enthusiasms”?

              Would pink batts be an example?

              Even applies to some of the land settlement schemes of earlier times – and a lot in between IMO

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                el gordo

                Good point, no due diligence.

                Lets not forget the desal white elephants scattered around the coast.

                All I’m suggesting is that the government has plans to revitalise the north and in the short term solar could play a part in large agribusiness and isolated communities.

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                el gordo

                Hmm. Yes, but, maybe.

                Have a look at what the big station chains in those areas a long way from SWER lines are doing re solar.

                AFIK not taking it on.

                And the bean counters there will have “scrutenised with a very intense scrut” and would be all over anything that reduces the cost of current diesel driven power

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                el gordo

                Thanx Ian, I admit to ignorance on the subject, perhaps you could flesh it out for us.

                For those interested here is SWER http://ruralpower.org/

                What is AFIK?

                [As Far (as) I Know. Also typed AFAIK] ED

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                el gordo

                As Far As I Know.

                I have some connections to that industry.

                On generation – one example I’ve met. A 60 kva set running 24/7 with a 40 kva back-up. And a huge diesel tank to cater for the isolation and the maybe intermittent fuel supplies.

                Another with two of similar size that they alternate.

                And an example of other things that have to be dealt with. One place an alternator went ack willy and fried a heap of air conditioners and various appliances. The fix-it electrician doesn’t reside just next door.

                A friend around here ran up around 58000 hours on one before the SWER line arrived. (about 7 years at 24/7)

                I span the change from Tilley lights to SWER lines via 32 volt dc. Each was an improvement and replacement was pretty quick. Battery banks were expensive and maintenance intensive – as seems the case still. It is a hell of a lot more convenient to flick a switch to pump water than to fire up a diesel engine – played a part in advancing gender equality too so ought to be rated positive by the sjw’s.

                Though we seem to have completed the circle and going round again now, with kero and gas lights and stove for when the SWER line quits. Next step is the back-up gen set.

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                el gordo

                You’re definitely the man to go to on this subject.

                So in your estimation there is no value in renewables in the outback?

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                el gordo

                Part reply is above. 18.2.1.1.1

                I didn’t mention wind as yet.

                It has been pumping water for a long time and its day is not yet done. From a company that will sell you wind or solar pumping

                http://www.wdmoore.com.au/SelecttheRightSystem/WindorSolar/tabid/64/Default.html

                But I doubt that it is going to contribute to remote electrical solutions. The Dunlite wind driven battery chargers disappeared pretty rapidly.

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                el gordo

                OK I’m convinced, things will remain as they are on isolated stations and remote communities because there is no economic imperative to change anything, but opening up northern Australia is a different matter.

                ‘An audit by Infrastructure Australia identified 180 gaps in economic infrastructure in the north, including in airports, communications, energy, ports, rail, roads and water.

                ‘As part of our commitment to northern Australia, we are dedicating nearly $5 billion to transport projects, another $600 million for priority roads and $200 million for water infrastructure, among other initiatives.

                Josh Frydenberg

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                el gordo

                I’d rephrase slightly.

                The economic imperative is there – that almost forgotten craft “Scotchenomics” is alive and well. Look how road trains, fixed and rotary winged aircraft and motorbikes have been adopted.

                But renewable technology proven to work and be economically justified under those conditions isn’t yet IMO.

                And I’d like to think that this go at northern development might.

                But think of previous government enthusiasms over the years in that area and yet we still haven’t got northern development. It could be yet again the light rail of northern development.

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                el gordo

                Re 18.2.1.1.8

                I can’t resist adding this bit on government enthusiasms that just showed up!

                http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2016/01/we-dont-need-no-560.html

                and link

                But why are we suprised? Parkinson had this nailed in his book on the first law way back in BC.

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                el gordo

                The food bowl of the world may require a few Chinese built coal fired power stations just to function properly. I’m assuming satellite cities and fast trains.

                The free trade agreements with China, Korea and Japan, should speed up development.

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                el gordo

                I hope you’re right

                But just in case try Ernestine Hill “The Territory”

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    Robber

    Has anyone tried to do the sums? I got a quote in Victoria in 2012.
    The salesperson said that a 3 KW pack with 12 panels (each 1.6×0.9 metres) could deliver on average 6 hours per day = 18 KWh/day = 6570 KWh/year.
    If all of that was sold into the Grid @ 8 cents/Kwh that’s worth $525 per year of income on an investment of $12,600 or about 4% return. Not sure what government subsidies are included in the installed cost.
    If about 50% of solar power replaced purchased electricity at 25 cents/Kwh, that would increase total savings to $820 per year or about 6.5% return.
    An online calculator for our location estimated solar output for 3KW system would be 4366KWh, well below the 6570KWh estimate above, presumably because of reduced output due clouds?

    I went to TrueSolar website and their calculator says we would save $650 with 3KW system, so that’s close to numbers above.

    However there was also an implication that we might have to change from our current tariff to a time of day tariff, with possibility of paying more in peak periods.
    So seems economics are marginal without a range of optimistic assumptions.

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      Robert O

      To get 18 KWh per day is an over estimate. That is 3 KWh for the hours between 10 am. and 4 pm., whereas one would be lucky to get 2.7 KWh around midday and less on either side. Cloud can reduce the production by 50% for starters.

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        Yes and no.

        Solar panels are rated under 1-sun (1000W/m²). We get a touch more than 1300W/m² under clear, summer skies in Perth. This means that a 3kW PV system could deliver a peak of about 4kW; if it can maintain its cool. But there’s also less than 200W/m² in winter under cloudy skies during shorter days.

        Solar PV companies work off statistical averages of insolation and lots of assumptions about orientation, etc. They’ll quote annual figures because the monthly ones might have you questioning why the heck you’re even talking to those people!

        Insolation onto a horizontal surface near Perth totals 6500 to 7500 MJ/m² over a year. It is that variable, even from year to year!

        As for daily variability; the sunshine (scatter plot)peak is for a fairly short period; not 6 hours. Winter peaks a third of the strength of summer peaks. DAFWA provides monthly figures for insolation which I’ve also plotted to illustrate the “seasonal” variability.

        Panel orientation changes the magnitude and the time of the peak energy generated by the panel. The arithmetic is tricky (3D-trigonometry with compensation for the orbital variation for the day of the year) but not intractable. What is unpredictable and provides for the generous scatter in insolation statistics is cloud cover and other atmospherics.

        The unpredictability of sunshine means that the “gold standard” of energy supply to which we’ve become accustomed; the five-9′s of 99.999% availability; is economically unfeasible with solar power outside of niche applications with small, well-defined patterns of energy consumption.

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      Graeme No.3

      Robber:
      Not recently. When I was thinking about it some years ago, the basic return was 1.25% p.a. Assuming I eliminated my daytime usage would have increased that to 6-6.5%. When I did install, prices had dropped and the State Government was boosting the feed-in tariff so my return for the first 3 years was 17-19%. That because it eliminated my bills.
      The return is dropping as the rate on electricity goes up, thanks to the blind, stupid incompetence of S.A. State Government and their belief that renewables are cheap and reliable (you might notice slight signs of dissatisfaction with said third rate politicians), so once our coal and gas stations shut down, electricity will go through the roof and I will wind up getting bills again. It is a race to see if I get my money back.

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      Dennis

      Very creative accounting.

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      Bruce of Newcastle

      Robber – I did some sums about a year ago and the effective cost of off-grid solar was 40-50c/kWh. That was based on rosy assumptions and a simple NPV calculation. I think reality is more at the 50c end of the range.

      That isn’t bad really – only twice the current retail price. If you were in woop-woop that’s not bad. On the other hand our electricity prices are stupidly high, they should be half what we now pay given the abundance of coal we have. AEMO prices are routinely around 3-4c/kWh.

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    Bitter&Twisted

    Don’t you love the sound of greedy pigs squealing as they are dragged off the subsidy teat?

    it’s music to my ears:-)

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    pat

    trust Hannam to fit in an extreme weather quote!

    8 Jan: SMH: Peter Hannam: Australia ‘left in the dark’ as Bureau of Meteorology’s weather data fails
    Australia’s main weather information services from the Bureau of Meteorology went down on Friday morning, affecting everything from temperature readings to radar imagery for airports.
    A “major network problem” disrupted services this morning, one bureau staff member said, adding that technicians were working to fix it.
    Temperature readings on the bureau’s website were all stuck at 6am AEDT Friday, as were the radar loops…
    The outage may have triggered “a lot more complaints” had it come a couple of days ago when wild weather was sweeping across parts of eastern Australia, with heavy rain and some flooding in the Hunter region of NSW, Mr Sharpe (Rob Sharpe, a Weatherzone meteorologist) said…
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/australia-left-in-the-dark-as-bureau-of-meteorologys-weather-data-fails-20160107-gm1lcl.html

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  • #

    Trying to correctly explain even some of the things about rooftop solar power is not an easy thing, because so many people have so many different understandings about it, and trying to knock those understanding by those explanations can lead to making it even muddier, if you see my point here. It’s so complex on so many different levels.

    What I want to draw your attention to here is the way the power is generated across time, and for this purpose, I have chosen two diagrams to indicate some points here. Now both of these diagrams are ….. THE BEST CASE scenarios for Summer and for Winter. Pay no notice to the actual values on the vertical scale because here I want you to think of this on a percentage type of thing. Both diagrams are for the same total Nameplate of the system in question, so they are not different systems.

    Summer Power Generation Curve – (16Jan2015)

    Winter Power Generation Curve – (13Jul2014)

    Note 1 – The drop in maximum generation between Summer and Winter. The highest Summer Generation is around 90 to 92% of total Nameplate, and is usually for around maybe an hour at most between Midday and 1PM. In Winter however, that maximum is barely 70% of total Nameplate and also for the same time, around or just prior to Midday.

    Note 2 – Look at the start and end time for generation, Summer 5.30AM to 6.30PM, and Winter 7AM to 4.30PM. However, while actually generating, the system may not be supplying very much until it reaches around 10/15%, so that’s an hour off those times at each end.

    Note 3 – Even while partially generating, the home itself is consuming that generated electricity. The average home (in Australia) consumes around 20KWH of power a day. Two thirds of that is out of daylight consumption a little less in Summer, and a lot more in Winter.

    Note 4 – The average rooftop system in Australia is 2.25KW Nameplate. (and at maximum generation of around 90%, then that comes in at around 2KW maximum)

    Now, the average home will consume around 1KWH per hour during daylight hours, with dad (and perhaps even Mum) at work, and the children at school.

    So, even though the rooftop system is generating power, some of it is being consumed by the home itself.

    The cut in point where power begins to be fed back to the grid is around 0.707 Peak. (average for a sinusoidal type curve, which this generation fairly closely resembles.)

    So the cut in for the FIT power back to grid is around 8.30 to 3.30 in Summer, (7 hours) and 10 till 2 in Winter,(4 hours) best case.

    Even so, while power is being fed back to the grid, keep in mind that the home itself is still consuming power, so, with the average system being 2KW nameplate, only 1KW is being fed back to the grid, so that means 7KWH in Summer, and 4KWH in Winter.

    Now keep in mind I showed BEST CASE Scenarios here, perhaps not many days throughout the whole year, Summer or Winter, but I showed them here to indicate those points.

    The average Capacity Factor for rooftop solar is around 13%, so the average for a 2KW system over a whole year comes in at around 2300KWH, while total home consumption is 7300KWH, and best case total for power fed back to the grid for the benefit of that FIT might only be 700 to 1000KWH at best.

    Keep in mind also that those people who got in early and took those high FIT will still have those payments at that rate for the duration of their contract, while only new installations are at that new lower FIT.

    Can you see now how any correct and total explanation of anything to do with rooftop solar power is not all that easy to explain.

    Now, while I selected the best cases here for Summer and Winter, you can select any day you wish to look at and you can see days with very little generation, cloudy days, and days of heavy prolonged overcast.

    Tony.

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      ScotsmaninUtah

      Tony,
      Excellent post :D

      From your explanation it illustrates that the “useful energy” is limited to only the midday period unless the household has some means of storage.
      I would like to add that DC to AC conversion is not 100% efficient, and may very from 50% to 90% of nameplate input.

      Peter

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      Graeme No.3

      Tony:

      Phillip Bratby has an article at
      http://euanmearns.com/technical-and-economic-analysis-of-the-european-electricity-system-with-60-res-a-review/

      which bears on this. He says that solar PV results in NO reduction of the amount of backup capacity necessary, and large scale wind can only hope to get rid of 100MW by building 700MW. Of course that is in Europe and things are different here – windmills are powered by unicorn farts and the sun shines at night etc. (No sarc tag as that is what some people assume).

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    Earl

    Just recently, I called my energy supplier, to demand that all reference to “Green Energy”, and the amount of green house gas my energy consumption is responsible for, be removed from my bill. Both hard and electronic copies.
    I was met with stunned silence, then referred to a higher authority, who did venture to ask why.
    I informed the HA, that CAGW was a load of rubbish, and that the inclusion of that information, on my bill, offended me.
    More stunned silence then confused explanation of civil responsibility, then I started to laugh and had to hang up.
    When I compose myself, I am going to have another go.
    Anyone else interested in this subtle form of ” Activism”. The Absolute Basket Case (ABC) has just discovered this new buzz word, uses it, and activist at every opportunity.

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      Dennis

      Did you ask the HA how green and non-green electricity can be delivered through the electricity grid to individual end users?

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        Earl

        i didn”t get that far as that,as I was not able to keep my composure.
        The poor HA was at a complete loss, I don’t think my request was in the book of FAQ. I did feel a little bad, for a brief moment, for using the enquiry line for comedy relief.

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      Ceetee

      Well done Earl, we should all do that.

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    Manfred

    “No more shopping for boutique electrons.”

    Jo, that is a priceless turn of phrase. Thank you.

    So, there now appears an additional variable to consider when thinking about electrons and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle — boutique or typical.

    Beyond wave-particle duality Jo has revealed to the World the presence of an additional, hitherto unrecognised sub-atomic particle, the boutique electron. These Green variants of their more uncertain and typical siblings appear not only clearly identifiable but may be predicted with certainty and precision on where and when they are.

    I believe that this discovery merits writing immediately to the Nomination and Selection folk in Stockholm.

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    As to the economics of complete off grid battery backup rooftop solar power, so that just the panels and the batteries supply all your power needs, have a look at this, and keep in mind here I’m not talking about those new Elon Musk toys but the correct battery application for an average home, where the correct advice as to batteries is for five days as the backup, and seriously, if anyone offers less than that, then they are shylocks.

    The average home consumes around 20KWH of power a day, so the average sya=stem which can actually generate that is a system around 6KW, and here’s the link to an Australian site which supplies those systems. The cost for that system is $69,000, and there’s a (around) $5000 subsidy, available once at the installation.

    This link is for the equivalent grid connected system, so the batteries and associated electrical work comes in at an extra $40,000 plus. Pretend that the batteries will last 8 years, so that means an extra two complete battery sets. Then extra Inverters, now running 24 hours a day instead of the average eight to ten hours.

    Pretend also that the panels, pristinely kept immaculately clean all the time, actually do last the full 25 years, and actually keep generating at their maximum day one generation levels, which they most certainly will not, but hey, do the exercise for that anyway.

    So, 65K initial installation and two lots of 40K for new batteries. and the basic cost is now close on $150,000

    The average home consumes 20KWH per day, so stay on the grid and consume all your electricity from that. At 30 cents per KWH for 25 years, the cost of the grid electricity comes in at a tick under $55,000.

    That’s about a third of the cost of the battery system.

    You can cheap out, hope the batteries last a hell of a lot longer, that your Inverter lasts the whole distance, and your panels are the absolute freakish best for the full 25 years, and you’ll still be spending double the cost than staying on the grid.

    Now perhaps you can see why they pay subsidies.

    Battery power costs for homes would have to become around 10% of what they are now, be humungously better at storage, and last a lot longer, and all three of those things will NEVER happen.

    Tony.

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      Doug Cotton

      Yes Tony, it is well known that solar power would not pay for itself and, as you say, even with subsidies. The subsidies are of course not without cost to the taxpayer, most of whom don’t have solar power. This is just one of the many mechanisms whereby the GH hoax creates potential poverty and loss of life even in the developed world, and obviously more so in the developing.

      This is why it is imperative that our government pays due diligence to checking what is now very clearly false physics in the radiative forcing greenhouse conjecture. Back radiation cannot be added to solar radiation and the total bunged into Stefan-Boltzmann (S-B) calculations so they get a mean of 390W/m^2 supposedly explaining the 288K mean surface temperature. That 390W/m^2 is a mean of very variable flux, and because of the T^4 relationship in S-B such a variable flux does not produce 288K but rather something close to freezing point. And it’s wrong anyway to be adding the back radiation. If radiation could be compounded like that, then, if one electric bar radiator warms an object to 350K then calculations would claim that 16 such radiators should raise it to 700K, which doesn’t happen. So the GH conjecture is easily proven false, yet the subsidies continue, and $200 million a year is diverted from humanitarian aid to carbon dioxide reduction, thus also affecting agricultural production adversely. Now we know what is the correct hypothesis, as I have spoken about on other threads.

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        Thanks for the comment here Doug. That’s really interesting. Nice to see the close correlation here between your Physics and its application to solar power.

        Using your 390W/m^2, would that see a greater insolation in monocrystalline, or polycrystalline silicone cells, and if so, should they be connected in series or parallel, and either way, would that insolation curve be extended with the addition of a transaxlabiofronic multiplexification unit, or would that alter the amplification of that insolation.

        Tony.

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      Of course the Greens must think that Lithium grows on trees and zinc/lead has a smaller footprint than Gas. Even the rare earths must come from a CO2 free zone, and be environmentally friendly to the fossil fools.

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    pat

    I referenced this mention of the RWE approval precedent in the Guardian in one of the Drax comments on jo’s previous thread:

    6 Jan: Guardian: David Hellier: Drax biomass conversion must comply with EU state aid rules
    The (European) commission, which late last year gave approval for the German energy group RWE to undertake a similar conversion at its Lynemouth plant, wants to ensure the Drax plans are in line with EU state aid rules.
    The carbon footprint is reduced by 86% by burning wood pellets rather than coal, according to figures audited by PwC…
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/05/drax-biomass-conversion-must-comply-with-eu-state-aid-rules

    read all of the following from today’s Tele:

    7 Jan: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: RWE sells Lynemouth power plant to EPH (Czech-based company) ahead of biomass conversion
    Owners of Eggborough power plant add to UK portolio, buying Lynemouth from German energy giant RWE
    Lynemouth, a 420MW coal plant in Northumberland, stopped generating in December under environmental rules but is due to be converted to burn wood pellets and reopen within about 18 months…
    The economics of the project hinge on a subsidy contract awarded by the Government in April 2014, at which time Lynemouth was expected to be converted by the end of 2015 and receive subsidies for the power it generated until 2027.
    However, the project only won state aid approval from the European Commission last month, eating into the value of the contract…
    Mr O’Hara also confirmed that Eggborough – which had been expected to close by March – could be saved through a possible contract with National Grid to keep it as an emergency back-up plant to help keep the lights on in winter 2016-17…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/coal/12088002/RWE-sells-Lynemouth-power-plant-to-EPH-ahead-of-biomass-conversion.html

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    pat

    a recipe for disaster?

    7 Jan: OregonLive: Ted Sickinger: Utilities and enviros agree on radical shift in Oregon’s energy supply
    Environmental advocates and Oregon’s two largest utilities have reached consensus on a radical overhaul to the state’s electricity supply, agreeing to double the renewable energy mandate by 2040 and eliminate the use of coal by 2035.
    They plan to offer a bill in the 2016 Legislative session including those policy changes and a host of others. If the proposal becomes law, environmental groups have agreed to drop proposed ballot measures that include even more drastic changes.
    If implemented, such policies would be a coup for renewable developers and climate advocates. The requirement for Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp to meet 50 percent of their customers’ electricity demand with resources like wind and solar by 2040 is double the current standard of 25 percent by 2025. The new requirement would step up incrementally between 2027 and 2040…
    The plan would also be a boon for utilities and their shareholders. The companies would need to invest billions of dollars in new sources of power to meet the mandates and replace the power they get from existing coal plants. PacifiCorp’s coal-fired plants, for example, supply 60 percent of its customers’ electricity today.
    ***The proposal has not been independently vetted and comes with no cost estimates. In practice, it isn’t technically feasible today without undermining the reliability of the grid with too many intermittent sources of power. Achieving it would lean heavily on the development of new energy-storage technologies and a more unified transmission system that would allow utilities to freely share power resources as needed…
    The effort was launched with funding from the Seattle-based environmental group, Climate Solutions, and builds on the efforts of the Sierra Club’s successful Beyond Coal Campaign…
    http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2016/01/utilities_and_enviros_agree_on.html

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    pat

    7 Jan: San Jose Mercury: California Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget at a glance
    By Katy Murphy, Paul Rogers, Howard Mintz, Gary Richards, Karen de Sa and Tracy Seipel
    ENVIRONMENT
    The environmental centerpiece of Brown’s budget is his plan to spend $3.1 billion from fees collected on big polluters under the state’s cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Brown proposed spending $500 million of that money on his controversial high-speed rail plan; another $500 million for low-carbon fuel programs, such as rebates for people who buy electric cars, hybrid trucks and zero½’emission(sic) trucks and buses; $400 million for urban rail programs; and $150 million to remove and replace many of the 22 million trees across the Sierra and other rural parts of California that have died during the drought. Other programs he proposed funding from cap-and-trade fees would boost renewable energy, restore wetlands and pay for energy efficiency and weatherization of state buildings. California’s four-year drought also received attention. The governor unveiled a plan to spend $323 million on drought relief…
    “The world is expensive, and drought and climate change are part of the future,” Brown said, “so I wouldn’t be surprised if those costs continue to rise.”…
    http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_29356881/california-gov-jerry-browns-budget-at-glance

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      Dave in the states

      So its all about funding scamming the economic producers to keep the socialist gravy train running….

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    pat

    some slight niche reporting of this today:

    7 Jan: EconoTimes: Abengoa Yield Changes Its Corporate Brand to Atlantica Yield
    Abengoa Yield plc (NASDAQ:ABY), the sustainable total return company that owns a diversified portfolio of stable and long-term contracted infrastructure assets in the energy and environment sectors, announced today that it has changed its corporate brand to Atlantica Yield, effective immediately…
    The ticker “ABY” will be maintained. The legal name of the Company will change once it is approved by the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting…

    ***”Albatross” seems an unfortunate choice for consideration!

    google translation of Spanish article below:

    7 Jan: Spanish Economist: Abengoa will be renamed Atlantica Yield to distance itself from the crisis of the matrix
    The company had plumbed other options such as ***Albatross Yield, or Atlas AB Yield Yield.
    The company has already designed the new logo (see picture). This will change its corporate identity and away from its parent…
    Not surprisingly, the company, which since last November aimed Santiago Seage, also looking for a new partner, preferably industry. For this it has hired JP Morgan…
    After the executions of the bondholders in recent weeks, Abengoa controls 41.86% Yield. However, most of that has been pledged in different credits. Specifically, 17.3% is linked to the loan of 106 million euros that the creditor banks and the Official Credit Institute (ICO) delivered last Christmas Eve. Another 14% are pledged to credit of 118 million granted Talos Capital Limited, British fund vehicle ***The Children’s Investment Master Fund (TCI) last October and another 8.1% to a third line of funding that various entities Spanish Andalusian gave the group in late September for 165 million…
    http://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/7264040/01/16/Abengoa-Yield-
    pasara-a-llamarse-Atlantica-Yield-para-distanciarse-de-la-crisis-de-la-matriz.html

    only comment is by BastadeFarsan, which contains allegations you might like to translate.

    ***The Children’s Investment Master Fund (TCI) – some of you may recall the background posted long ago about this English hedge fund run by Chris Hohn. Wikipedia is a start.

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    pat

    7 Jan: ReutersCarbonPulse: Ben Garside: EU should revisit its climate policies, say Swedish lawmakers
    The EU should revisit and consider tightening its energy and climate policies, including drastically reforming the ETS, to show it is serious about tackling climate change, according to senior Swedish lawmakers including environment minister Asa Romson…
    Only France has raised the prospect for a more ambitious target up to now…
    The article’s authors called the EU ETS the “single most important tool” for cutting emissions in the industry and energy sectors, and that a well-functioning carbon market would be a strong signal to the world.
    They said the post-2020 ETS reform bill is a “unique opportunity” to significantly improve the system, including a better model to calculate free EUA allocations more closely to production levels to ensure they only go to those at real risk of carbon leakage…
    They added that the proposed Modernisation Fund for eastern European nations needs clearer guidelines on supporting renewables and energy efficiency to avoid locking in fossil fuel use.
    They also quoted analysis from campaigners Sandbag that showed ETS emissions are already on course to be 38% below 2005 levels by 2021…
    “The too-low price situation in the EU ETS is a clear signal that the EU can do more.”
    http://carbon-pulse.com/13967/

    7 Jan: ReutersCarbonPulse: Mike Szabo/Ben Garside: EU Market: EUA sell-off continues as more stops triggered, utilities stay on sidelines
    European carbon prices continued to sell off on Thursday, plumbing lows below €7.50 not seen since Feb. 2015, as traders said more speculative selling triggered stop-losses while utility buyers remained on the sidelines…
    “It looks mainly speculator driven … They’ve been too long. Some big stop-losses have been triggered, and there’s huge buying on the EUA put options, and this is being met with a lack of buying interest from utilities due to low spreads,” one trader said…
    Market participants have suggested that some major utilities may not have started hedging their future output again following the holiday period, while others may be waiting for daily government EUA auctions to resume next week…
    A few market participants noted that the EUAs’ technical indicators were pointing to a massively oversold market…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/13997/

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    pat

    6 Jan: ReutersCarbonPulse: Ben Garside: EU ETS reform work risks delay as Parliament committee bunfight rumbles on
    Agreement by the European Parliament on a post-2020 EU ETS reform bill risks drifting past an end-2016 provisional schedule as MEPs continue to wrangle for control of the high-profile issue.
    The lawmakers are battling over which parliamentary committee should have control over the file – the environment committee (ENVI) or the industry committee (ITRE)…
    “In the end, this is a political decision … but so far they can’t agree, in particular within the ECR and EPP groups,” the source said, referring to the two centre-right political groupings that control more than a third of the Assembly’s seats.
    “If ITRE is given exclusive competence on some elements it will probably slow down things a bit.”…
    The next opportunity to resolve it will be at a meeting of the presidents of all the political groupings on Jan. 14 in Brussels. If they fail to break the deadlock, the next chance will come at a Jan 19. meeting of the chairs of the parliamentary committees in Strasbourg…
    Parliamentary sources have suggested that the tussle for one of the most high-stakes dossiers in the EU portfolio is unlikely to result ENVI losing the file altogether. Instead, the responsibility may be split – a notion previously rejected by Ian Duncan, the UK MEP steering the file in ENVI…
    Bills split between committees require two-thirds majorities in both bodies to vote for a mandate to begin fast-track negotiations with member states…
    http://carbon-pulse.com/13944/

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    pat

    I dream of the day McKibben is not quoted on every CAGW issue!

    7 Jan: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: TransCanada sues Obama over Keystone XL block
    Tar sands company seeks US$15 billion damages for ‘arbitrary and unjustified’ decision to reject Canada-US oil pipeline
    But the oil company argued in a statement released on Wednesday the president had “exceeded his power under the US constitution”.
    Activist network 350 called the move “greedy and desperate”, saying it was too late to get the pipeline built now.
    “The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane1,” co-founder Bill McKibben said.
    “But the oil industry is so used to always winning that I fear this kind of tantrum is predictable. Corporate power is truly out of control.”…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/07/transcanada-sues-obama-over-keystone-xl-block/

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    AndyG55

    OT, just been doing some number crunching on RSS and UAH data… (rest is repeated from WUWT.

    With full UAH and RSS data now available a couple of interesting points.

    USA had a warm year. OK, no argument from either UAH or RSS

    Australia 2015 was in 11th place in UAH.. (and Iceland reports their coldest year this century)

    but here are the fun ones.

    UAH NoPol… 2o15 in 13th place

    UAH SoPol.. 2015 in 35th place… I’ll repeat that… 35th place

    RSS 60-82.5 north 2015 in 9th place

    RSS 60-70 south 2015 in 29th place.

    Essentially , all the warmth has been coming from the tropics in the form of the persistent El Nino.

    Once that subsides, the cooling has already started at the poles !!

    ps.. I’ve posted several other calcs at SG’s

    (I don’t think he’s happy about the USA results.. oh well.. data is what it is)

    As I see it, USCRN is exerting a firm control over current data in the USA***, its the older stuff and places where there isn’t sufficient land and sea data, that NDCD/NOAA/GISS get up to their tricks.

    As you can see from the NoPol results, the NP is not that warm, but NOAA have it painted bright red. And the SoPol is way down.

    … remind me where AGW is meant to affect most ??

    *** It is absolutely strange that ClimDiv matches USCRN and that the now unused USCHN also matched USCRN almost exactly over their concurrent period.. The matching data sets can only have been achieved by force. ;-)

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      Doug Cotton

      And, AndyG55, the reasons WHY we are in the middle of a 30 year hiatus (with possible slight net cooling until at least 2028) are mentioned in this comment above in that carbon dioxide cannot warm.

      Climate change is all 100% natural, with a ~1,000 year cycle due to max out before the end of the century. The superimposed 60 year cycle is of course currently declining.

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    pat

    reporting on the following study, ClimateChangeNews writes: “It analysed almost 25 million words of op-eds, blogs and policy reports available online from 16 US groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute (who Climate Home met at a parallel event to the Paris climate talks in December).”:

    7 Jan: Guardian: Graham Readfearn: Era of climate science denial is not over, study finds
    Conservative thinktanks in the US engaging in climate change have increased their attacks on science in recent years, a study of 16,000 documents finds
    No more arguing over the science? It’s more about the policy now, right?
    Well, wrong. At least according to a new study that has looked at 15 years worth of output from 19 conservative “thinktanks” in the United States…
    The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, analysed more than 16,000 documents published online between 1998 and 2013 by mainly US groups like the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute…
    To come to that conclusion authors Dr Travis Coan, of the University of Exeter, and Dr Constantine Boussalis, of Trinity College Dublin, analysed 8300 articles, 3000 reports, 100 interview transcripts, 680 open letters and press releases and 3400 “scientific” reviews…
    ***COAN: “We are currently working on a study with John Cook that looks at science and policy related themes (amongst other items) in the top 50 climate skeptic blogs through 2015. The topic structure (i.e. discourse) is very similar, and sometimes identical, to the conservative thinktanks and there is reason to think that these two time series move together. For the blogs, we find that the increase in science-related skepticism continues right through 2015. Again, these results are preliminary, but suggest that the ‘end of science denial’ – at least among these actors – might be wishful thinking.”…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/jan/07/era-of-climate-science-denial-is-not-over-study-finds

    Global Environment Change: Text-mining the signals of climate change doubt
    Available online 30 December 2015
    Authors: Constantine Boussalis: Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, 3 College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
    Travis G. Coan, Department of Politics and Exeter Q-Step Centre, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, Devon EX4 4RJ, United Kingdom
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015300728

    don’t know who funded the above, but the following can be found in pdf form online if you search the heading:

    ‘Balance as Bias’ Revisited: Harnessing the Power of Text-Mining to Understand Media
    Coverage of Climate Change by Constantine Boussalis and Travis G. Coan Harvard Law School
    March 30, 2013

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    el gordo

    Sydney Pead has a story in the SMH on the Anthropocene.

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    AndyG55

    By my calculations, UAH for both USA48 and USA49 has 2015 as the warmest in the satellite record. RSS continental has 2015 in second place.

    Can anyone confirm?

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      AndyG55

      Interestingly, GISS etc , say 2015 is only in second place.

      All temperature data series have USA 2015 in 1st or 2nd place.

      Yet Steven Goddard is arguing against this reality and making a fool of himself.

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    TdeF

    it will “destroy the rooftop solar industry in one of the states with the most sunshine.”

    Doesn’t any realise the implication of what they say? If solar panel vendors admit panels are not financially viable in one of the cloudless states with the most sunshine, what use are they in Maine in Winter?

    Perhaps half of Americans live lower in Latitude than Hobart, Australia. Winter is very long and dark and cloudy and cold. Not only is solar silly, but the heat required to survive is enormous. Even in Victoria, if we covered the entire state in solar panels, killing all life, we would at most have enough energy to power Melbourne at a cost of trillions.

    Fossil fuel is sunlight captured by ancient carbon dioxide and photosynthesis. The problem is that we are burning a million years per year and will run out. We need the money to be spent on finding new sources of energy, new storage systems, not silly solar panels. Solar panels are not useless but they cannot power anything much and everyone knows it. There is not enough solar energy. What you need to fry an egg will not power your car. The modern world will collapse on photo electric and wind. In fact we would not have enough electricity to make solar panels which take 3 years just to repay the energy cost of manufacture, so a world running on solar panels could not even have the energy to make solar panels.

    We need to be free of this Green political madness. Imagine if the $1,000,000,000,000 wasted each year was spent instead on developing Thorium reactors? No bombs, no risk of explosion, 50x the available thorium as uranium.

    My personal favorite is low temperature gradient offshore generation where you let the ocean be your solar collector and heat conveyor. This is technology from the 1970s! Then you do not have to cover the state with solar panels. Passive heat based power generation like a low drop hydro scheme as in Lake Baikal. Endless. Steady. Never stopping. We should be making them now and mooring them offshore, not windmills.

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      For another low drop hydro try Sobradino Dam on the googler – even better on G Earth.

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      The Backslider

      Elon Musk claims that he can power all of the United States by covering a small part of Utah with solar…..

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        Graeme No.3

        Did he say how much more he wanted in subsidies? I am told there is $US 4.9 billion in his ‘businesses’ now.

        At least unlike the usual airy-fairy articles he (or the taxpayer) is building a factory to produce lithium batteries. Quite why you need lithium batteries for stationary storage escapes me.

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      • #
        TdeF

        That’s just silly. Maybe 200 million electric clock radios.

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      Climate Heretic

      Tdef thorium is 3x more abudant in the Earths crust than Uranium, not 50x.

      Regards
      Climate Heretic

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    Robdel

    I am missing Ruari’s limericks. He has been rather silent since the new year?

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    Mark Stoval

    The simplest way to look at this issue is that anytime the government interferes with the market with subsidies, grants, loans, tax credits, regulations, and all the rest we see boat loads of money poured down a rat hole and real progress is retarded.

    If governments will get the Hades out of the market then solar will be used in those applications where it is really useful; when it is ready.

    If I had the power I would put every politician in a dark hole and keep him there until he had read all of von Mises at least 3 times.

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    Richard

    Something that’s often overloooked is the fact that solar panels need silver and the above ground silver supply is apparently shrinking quite fast. In the 1950′s there was around 10 billion ounces of above ground silver for investment purposes and today there’s less than 700 million ounces (gold is at 7 billion ounces). Silver is used in mobile phones, computers, solar panels, health-care, etc (it has over 1,000 industrial applications) and only about 20% of it is re-cycled and the rest is lost forever in land-fills. Solar panels alone consume around 70-80 million ounces per year and that’s growing fast. Also less silver is being re-cycled. From 2011-2014 there was a drop in 100 million ounces and mining production is falling. Of course, we won’t run out of silver, but the price will have to increase (some have estimated to $1000 per ounce) in order to make it economically viable to re-cycle, and so the price of solar panels will also increase, thereby making them an even more pointless waste of money than they were before.

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      Richard

      A while back (and I don’t have the link) Chiefio had a series of posts around this area with a proponent of “peak silver”.

      And pointed out that a hell of a lot of industrial processes were working out how to flee “peak silver” for “non-peak copper”.

      Not sure of the solar panel scene.

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      toorightmate

      The silver price is as healthy as the price of Lithium.
      Both prices are in hospital – they are so sick.

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    Postmodernism (environmentalism, socialism, communism et.al.) presumes reality isn’t real and that fantasy can be made real if only you and enough others believe it is real. Failing that, it can be made real if enough brute force is applied to the unbelievers. However, reality simply is what it is regardless of who or how many believe or what they believe.

    The fantasy can be sustained only by by consuming other people’s wealth and by having an unending supply of willing sacrificial victims. Run out of either, and even the pretense of a fantasy will collapse with catastrophic consequences for one and all.

    What we are witnessing is the grand collapse of the fantasy. I suggest this is the widely publicized and much feared tipping point in process. CO2 is little more than a bit player: a lamb in wolf’s clothing. The real culprit is the attempt to replace reality with fantasy and belief. That attempt cannot be successful and the resulting cost of that failure will be paid in full. Our wealth, our sacred honor, and our lives will be only a down payment.

    Can we avoid the collapse and paying price? Yes, only if we abandon the fantasy, re-discover reality, and act accordingly.

    Yes, there is a universal force that pervades the universe. It is not God. It is simply what is, is. We are part of that is and there is no escape from that fact. Ultimately our only choice is to be and act accordingly or not to be. Which will we choose?

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    pat

    affordable??? unbelievable:

    AUDIO: 56mins: 9 Jan: BBC Newshour Extra: The End of Oil?
    In this week’s Newshour Extra we ask whether global policies to cap carbon emissions could lead to a world in which alternative energy sources will force fossil fuels out of business. Join Owen Bennett Jones and his guests as they discuss the future of oil, and the changing world order it heralds.
    Contributors:
    Obiageli Ezekwesili – former Nigerian cabinet minister and World Bank official
    Luay al-Khateeb – Brookings Doha
    Jeffrey Mankoff – Centre for Strategic and Interanational Studies
    ***Tom Burke – Environmentalist
    Bill Walker – Governor of Alaska
    Bjorn Otto Sverdrup – Head of Sustainability, Statoil
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03ddznd

    ***Wikipedia: Tom Burke is Chairman and Founding Director of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism
    (Environmental Think Tank), an Environmental Policy Adviser to Rio Tinto, and a university Visiting Professor. He played a leading part in establishing the European Environment Bureau for nearly two decades and was the Secretary-General of the European and North American NGO preparations for the Rio Earth Summit. Burke has been a professional environmentalist for 30 years and was formerly Executive Director of Friends of the Earth.
    He has written and broadcast extensively and coined the term ‘green growth’ in 1987. In 1993, Burke was appointed to United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour…
    He joined the FoE staff in 1973 as its local groups coordinator and became its Executive Director in 1975. He was the Director of the Green Alliance from 1982 until 1991 when he became Michael Heseltine’s Special Advisor. While at the Green Alliance he ran for Parliament twice for the SDP and the Liberal Democrats…
    Having begun developing dialogues with business while at the Green Alliance, he went to work for Rio Tinto and BP on leaving government in 1997…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Burke_(environmentalist)

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      el gordo

      ‘This story was amended on 8 January to clarify the article by Newman and Green did not suggest that solar power had made WA’s electricity transmission networks unprofitable.’

      ** chuckle ** The whole story is about solar making the city’s fossil fuel power station worthless.

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        Peter C

        I had a look at that article. The whole thing does not bode well for the future of electricity prices in Perth. People, desperate to reduce their electricity bills are installing solar panels and making everything worse.

        I checked the prices being offered by Synergy in Perth. Peak cost is 45c/kWh which is getting quite expensive. Off peak is 13c/kWh, but that price is only from 9pm to 7am, which is not much use except for storage hot water.

        Which got me thinking about what Tony from Oz said at #25. The costs of going off grid would be about 3 times higher over 25 years based on costs of solar panels and battery storage.

        However consider this. Forget about the solar panels and just install battery storage. The battery cost is only 1/5 of Tony’s price because you only need to have enough stored power for one day (20kWh). Draw your power at off peak and use it during the peak period, which is when you need it.
        The saving is potentially about $6/day ($2000/year).

        Assuming a set of batteries and the associated inverters, wiring etc would cost about $10,000 with an 8 year life the economics are almost viable at current prices

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          Graeme No.3

          Shortly followed by Government change in policy making it illegal?

          P.S. you would also need a new switchboard with isolation switches so power doesn’t flow out during blackouts (for safety reasons) – similar to existing provision that grid connected PV solar has to shut down during blackouts.

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          ial8888


          … you only need to have enough stored power for one day (20kWh)

          Same old question, Peter C, and one which is almost ALWAYS avoided

          List in detail, please, those common appliances one can run at night off a stored 20kWh – and I mean all at the same time

          Oh, and please remember that common appliances have the kWh requirement on their compliance plate, so actually adding it all up is easy :)

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      • #
        Analitik

        Yes – “They are used intermittently at high-demand times.”
        So they could get rid of these worthless plants and they would only have blackouts during high demand times.

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    pat

    provisionally speaking:

    8 Jan: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Beyond oil: Petropower Saudi Arabia signals end of era
    The notion that state-owned Saudi Aramco could float on the stock exchange has set the business world alight.
    It is the world’s largest oil producer, with ten times the reserves of US giant ExxonMobil. On that basis, it could be worth trillions of dollars.
    What has it got to do with climate change? Well, it is the latest sign that Saudi Arabia is ready to overhaul its petro-powered economy.
    Catalysed by slumping oil prices, a reform agenda is taking shape. “In terms of climate, there is a cautious optimism amongst reform-minded technocrats in the Kingdom,” says Glada Lahn, a Middle East analyst at Chatham House…
    Championing change is 30-year-old deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman, based on advice commissioned from McKinsey. The leading consultancy last month set out a blueprint for moving the Kingdom’s economy beyond its dependence on oil…
    In an economy based on one commodity, all plans are provisional. Previous Saudi attempts at reform have fallen fallow at the first sign of an upturn in the oil market…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/01/08/beyond-oil-petropower-saudi-arabia-signals-end-era/

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      Peter C

      new material made from microscopic layers of cobalt can convert carbon dioxide gas into formate – a fuel that can be burned with no toxic byproducts and used as a clean energy source.

      Possibly they are overlooking some old technology “a leaf”

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      Graeme No.3

      The Backslider:

      That description doesn’t make sense. Yes, you can use cobalt catalysts in that sort of reaction (it has been used for close on 80 years usually with carbon monoxide feed) but to get out something that generates more energy than was put in ???????
      Garbage.

      As a side note: have you ever handled formic acid? Don’t, I’ve twice had it on my skin and it is worse than sulphuric acid. It also happens to be toxic, hardly the ideal fuel for public use.

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    • #

      I just had to check the chemical formula – HCOOH

      And when you burn it you get what?

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      toorightmate

      The ants will be over the moon.
      They will be richer than the Arabs.

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    pat

    much more at the link:

    8 Jan: Financial Times: Stephen Foley: Lunch with the FT: Charles Koch
    Koch would like us to get to know him. Or, more accurately, he has been persuaded that staying silent is counterproductive both politically and, increasingly, for his business.
    Koch Industries is a corporation with $115bn in annual revenues built on the back of transporting and refining crude oil, and its drive to limit environmental regulation and disrupt policies aimed at dealing with global warming is widely seen as self-serving. Koch’s absolutist free-market ideology runs deep, however: he insists he is just as opposed to “corporate welfare” for Koch Industries as he is for others.
    “I was told I needed to get out and present who we are and what we stand for,” he says.
    “We’re being attacked every day by blogs, other newspapers, media, people in government, and they were totally perverting what we do and why we do it. We have had other people answering it,” he says of the criticism, “but I’m the evil guy, so I need to come out and show who I am, like it or not.”
    Where the Kochs and the left are never likely to see eye to eye is on the environment. Over lunch, Koch positions himself not as a denier of climate change but rather as sceptical that it justifies drastic government intervention. “Over the past 135 years, the ground temperature has warmed — there’s some debate on this — around eight-tenths of a degree centigrade. In the atmosphere [the temperature change] has been slightly less, but not enough to argue much about. A big driver is most likely man-generated CO2, but what we see is that this increase is much less than has been projected. So, the indications are that the temperature isn’t as sensitive to increases in CO2 concentration as was thought. I don’t see the evidence that there’s an immediate catastrophe or even one in the future.”
    The level of climate change, says Koch, does not justify penalising the use of cheap fossil fuels or subsidising alternative energy companies. Tax breaks and other incentives to use solar panels, he explains, cut the cost of energy for homeowners who can afford to install them, at the expense of higher bills for the rest.
    “It’s the poor people subsidising the rich people, which is what happens with this corporate welfare everywhere.”…
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3a5c5d40-b4a3-11e5-b147-e5e5bba42e51.html

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    pat

    way too long, but note how Flannery doesn’t mention the PAUSE but instead brings up the “greenhouse gases”. the rest is totally predictable Flannery fare:

    8 Jan: CarbonBrief: The Carbon Brief Interview: Tim Flannery
    Carbon Brief: I wanted to begin by talking about that decade or so since your landmark book, The Weather Makers…What have been the differences between then and now?
    Tim Flannery: Sure. Well, look, I suppose the biggest thing to say is that over the last ten years the Earth has been following a worst-case scenario emissions trajectory for greenhouse gases…On the other side of the ledger, the cost of electricity from solar panels has been declining 10% year-on-year over that decade, the cost of wind has declined, and we’ve seen other renewables come to look more promising…
    TF: Five years ago – in Australia, at least – there were still some newspapers that were trying to speak to the community as a whole. In the intervening years we’ve seen a fragmentation. It’s been driven by declining circulation across all newspapers, but particularly by the fact that those newspapers have responded by targeting a segment of society. So, the Australian newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, is focused on conservative males over 65 years old, who are likely to be climate sceptics. The Guardian Australia is focused on younger people, or more liberal people, who can see the opportunity in addressing climate change…
    TF: Well, during the time that I was climate commissioner for Australia I had to have federal police protection, and was abused in the street, and threatened at public meetings and all sorts of things…
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-interview-tim-flannery

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    pat

    8 Jan: Nevada Appeal: AP: Rooftop solar workers laid off in wake of solar rate changes
    As hundreds of rooftop solar company workers are laid off this week, Gov. Brian Sandoval is urging for cooler heads before the battle over a Nevada rate hike is settled.
    Both Sunrun and SolarCity have announced that they’re curbing sales and operations in Nevada because of the decision by the Public Utilities Commission to increase NV Energy bills for rooftop solar customers.
    SolarCity said Wednesday that it was laying off more than 550 employees, or about a quarter of its workforce. Sunrun wouldn’t offer the specific number of those told Wednesday that they were losing their jobs, but estimated it was in the hundreds.
    The governor urged companies to be cautious and said that he supports renewable energy industries.
    “The regulatory rate process that the solar industry agreed to is still ongoing and I am hopeful that these companies will not make such an important decision about lay-offs before the process can fully play out,” Sandoval said…
    The Public Utilities Commission held a meeting Thursday to consider delaying or suspending the rate hike and a decision is expected at its next meeting on Jan. 13…
    http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/20046910-113/rooftop-solar-workers-laid-off-in-wake-of

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    pat

    8 Jan: Rutland Herald Letter: When solar isn’t solar
    from ROLAND MARX (Co-founder, Boardman Hill Solar Farm) Belmont
    Ranger Solar proposes to develop five massive solar projects in Vermont to produce clean, renewable solar energy. Ranger Solar also proposes to sell RECs (renewable energy credits). That’s not possible, you can’t do both. Who says so? The Vermont attorney general.
    The Vermont attorney general warned solar developers in December that claiming to be renewable if RECs are sold is deceptive and to stop this practice.
    Large solar developers typically sell RECs out of state for a ton of money to improve their profits. Ranger could pocket $6 million or more per year or perhaps a staggering $200 million over the projects’ lifetime — just from selling RECs. No wonder they’re interested in providing energy to Vermont…READ ON
    http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20160108/OPINION02/160109642

    3 Jan: TimesArgus: Report: Ranger projects won’t aid Vt. energy goals
    Five proposed 20-megawatt solar projects would boost the amount of renewable power generated in Vermont, but the credit for the solar power is worth far more in other states, a recent analysis found.
    That means that the power generated by Ranger Solar in Vermont likely won’t count toward Vermont’s renewable energy goals because the renewable energy credits, or RECs, will be sold elsewhere.
    Companies which sell RECs pass savings onto customers, but can’t claim to provide green energy to them.
    Adam Cohen, president of Ranger Solar, said he wants to sell the renewable energy credits in Vermont despite the lower price here…
    Kevin Jones, professor of energy technology and policy at Vermont Law School, said he doubts Ranger’s RECs will be sold in Vermont.
    It’s a matter of profit, he said.
    “Very clearly, the market for renewable energy credits is out of state,” Jones said. “Almost all the large-scale solar … are selling RECs.”…
    According to the Synapse study, the value of a REC in Connecticut is $55 and $67 in Massachusetts. In Vermont, the same REC is worth $10, the study said.
    With Vermont’s lower selling price, outsourcing of renewable credits leaves Vermonters to rely more on fossil-fuel power sources that don’t have RECs attached to them, according to Department of Public Service documents…
    Last month, the Vermont attorney general’s office issued a warning and marketing guidelines to community companies like SunCommon and GMP…
    Instead of Vermonters gaining access to clean energy, Jones said, Vermonters are being tapped to generate clean energy for sale elsewhere.
    “Rutland might be the capital — as far as housing solar,” he said
    http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160103/NEWS01/160109909

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      toorightmate

      Oh Bummer could easily fix this with a national subsidy.
      That would be terrific because national subsidies don’t take money from taxpayers. It just grows on trees.

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    pat

    8 Jan: UK Register: Kat Hall: UK energy minister rejects ‘waste of money’ smart meters claim
    Claims by a former Conservative Party energy adviser that the government’s £11bn smart meter project will be “a ghastly mess” have been dismissed by current energy secretary Amber Rudd.
    Meg Hillier, Labour MP and head of the Public Accounts Committee, questioned Rudd yesterday over the much-criticised scheme, which will also see consumers foot the bill.
    “Very recently, Alex Henney, a former Conservative energy adviser, warned the Secretary of State that the roll-out would at best be regarded as a waste of money and that it is ‘a ghastly mess’,” she said.
    Hillier asked Rudd if she agreed with Henney, and what is she doing to resolve those problems. Unsurprisingly, Rudd replied: “I can say very clearly to the honourable lady that I do not agree with that position. Smart meters will have a great future in this country…
    In March last year a report from the Energy and Climate Change Committee said it does “not believe” plans to install 53 million devices in homes and businesses by 2020 will be achieved. It’s also been revealed that the total lifetime costs of the scheme could rise to £19bn.
    In a letter to Rudd this month Henney had said the only beneficiaries will be the meter manufacturers. “The Department of Energy and Climate Change has devised by far the most complex rollout in the world,” he wrote in a letter seen by The Times…
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/08/energy_minister_dismisses_claims_that_smart_meters_a_waste_of_money/

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    Must be time to invest in Nevada Lead Acid Battery stocks! :P

    Confucius say: “see god in bad”

    If a rooftop solar owner has to pay retail, then it would pay to go semi-off-grid with a battery backup to ensure you don’t feed in at 2c and pay 12.5c at night. The utility companies will be laughing all the way to the bank on this one for at least the next 5-10 years, whilst the suckers with panels already degrading go off-line and they don’t replace them.

    What always makes me laugh about the advocates for electric cars and battery banks attached to solar (I mean the ones who use the issue because of CAGW), is their complete ignorance on how much battery storage systems cost, and the amount of chemicals and metals that go into them, many very toxic as chemical wastes. If everyone went electric with batteries, the effect on the environment would be waaaay worse than direct feed in of electrons from coal power, especially since CO2 is plant food.

    I’ve noticed that many Greenies that I have discussed such things to look completely baffled when confronted with such questions of batteries etc… as if the ACTUAL facts and cost benefit analysis (economic and environmental) of Green rhetoric are non-existent: It’s just the rhetoric that matters to these people, because most are on a completely non-intellectual crusade to prove their virtue, which the leftist group-think echo-chamber gladly reciprocates to their glee.

    I like solar technology, especially for remote locations, and appropriate applications, but I don’t like the intellectual dishonesty or lack of intellectual acumen of leftists. From experience I find them to be lusting after a demagogue to lead them into a masochistic cul-de-sac of dysfunction, and they’re never happy unless they are pulling everyone into their void. Very disturbing! I wish I was overreacting, but experience says otherwise.

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    James Murphy

    With respect to boutique electrons (and who doesn’t find that term funny?), is it not the case that electrons ‘flow’ in DC circuits, but just more-or-less oscillate in place, transmitting energy from one to another (leaving aside the quantum physics aspects for the sake of convenience!) in AC circuits?

    If this is right, then as I would want all my renewable energy equipment to contain 100% boutique electrons (so as not to upset Gaia), so it looks like I may be waiting quite some time until it’s possible to build solar panels or wind turbines, plus all the associated equipment and cabling with 100% boutique electrons – and then, how do I ensure that those nasty fossil fuel electrons don’t find a way of contaminating my eminently superior electron collection?

    With regards to quantum physics though, electrons have 2 spin states, generally called “up”, and “down”. Which one of them is environmentally friendly and which one is sponsored by fossil fuels?

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    john

    David Tepper Sends Another Letter To TerraForm Power

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3799636-david-tepper-sends-another-lette

    Summary
    As publicly disclosed, the Funds collectively own 7,600,000 shares, or 9.5%, of the outstanding Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”) of TerraForm Power, Inc. (the “Company”), in the applicable amounts set forth on Schedule A, annexed hereto and made part hereof.

    Pursuant to Section 220 of the DGCL, on behalf of the Funds, ALP hereby demands that it and its attorneys, representatives and agents be given, during usual business hours, the opportunity to inspect the following books and records of the Company.

    The purpose of this demand is to enable ALP and the Funds to investigate potential wrongdoing by SUNE and/or the Board in connection with the Subject Transactions and the Interim Agreement.

    Please accept this as a revised demand for access to corporate books and records pursuant to Section 220 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”) designed to address the objections contained in the letter, dated December 31, 2015, from Michael G. Bongiorno, Esq. to Steven Siesser, Esq. and Lawrence M. Rolnick, Esq., a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit C. Appaloosa LP, a Delaware limited partnership (“ALP”), is the investment adviser to the following funds:

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      john

      SunEdison, Inc. Shareholder Reminder: Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP Reminds SunEdison, Inc. Shareholders of Class Action Lawsuit — SUNE
      11:45 a.m. Jan. 5, 2016 – Marketwired
      SECURITIES FRAUD ALERT: The Law Firm of Andrews & Springer LLC Announces That a Securities Fraud Class Action Has Been Filed Against TerraForm Global, Inc. – GLBL
      8:27 a.m. Jan. 4, 2016 – GlobeNewswire
      Shareholder Alert: Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Notifies Investors of Class Action Against TerraForm Global, Inc. and Lead Plaintiff Deadline December 28, 2015
      10:00 a.m. Dec. 22, 2015 – ACCESSWIRE
      Hagens Berman Reminds Investors With Losses Over $50,000 in TerraForm Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLBL) of Upcoming December 28, 2015 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
      7:54 p.m. Dec. 21, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      The Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces the Filing of a Securities Class Action on Behalf of TerraForm Global International Inc. Investors
      7:30 a.m. Dec. 21, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      DEADLINE APPROACHING: Lundin Law PC Announces Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against TerraForm Global, Inc. and Encourages Investors With Losses to Contact the Firm
      8:02 p.m. Dec. 16, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      SunEdison Inc Shareholder Alert: Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP Announces Shareholder Class Action SunEdison, Inc. – SUNE
      7:02 p.m. Dec. 16, 2015 – ACCESSWIRE
      GLBL INVESTORS ALERT: Lieff Cabraser Reminds TerraForm Investors of Deadline in Securities Class Litigation
      6:39 p.m. Dec. 16, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      UPCOMING DEADLINE ALERT:Brower Piven Encourages Investors Who Have Losses in Excess of $100,000 from Investment in TerraForm Global, Inc. to Contact Brower Piven before the Lead Plaintiff Deadline in Class Action Lawsuit
      5:47 p.m. Dec. 14, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      Shareholder Class Action Filed Against SunEdison, Inc. – SUNE
      4:53 p.m. Dec. 11, 2015 – PR Newswire – PRF
      DEADLINE ALERT: Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. Reminds Shareholders Of TerraForm Global, Inc. Of Upcoming Deadline
      4:41 p.m. Dec. 11, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      STOCK ALERT: Rosen Law Firm Reminds TerraForm Global, Inc. Investors of Important December 28, 2015 Deadline in Class Action – GLBL
      5:53 p.m. Dec. 10, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action Against TerraForm Global, Inc. and Certain Officers – GLBL
      1:43 p.m. Dec. 10, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      Shareholder Alert: Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Notifies Investors of Class Action Against TerraForm Global, Inc. and Lead Plaintiff Deadline December 28, 2015
      10:00 a.m. Dec. 10, 2015 – PR Newswire – PRF
      IMPORTANT SHAREHOLDER NOTICE: Khang & Khang LLP Announces the Filing of a Securities Class Action Lawsuit against TerraForm Global, Inc. and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm before the Deadline
      7:55 p.m. Dec. 9, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      SHAREHOLDER ALERT: The Law Offices of Vincent Wong Remind Investors of Class Action Involving TerraForm Global, Inc. and a Lead Plaintiff Deadline of December 28, 2015 – GLBL
      4:36 p.m. Dec. 9, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      SECURITIES FRAUD REMINDER: The Law Firm of Andrews & Springer LLC Reminds TerraForm Global, Inc. Shareholders of Important December 28, 2015 Deadline in the Class Action — GLBL
      8:09 a.m. Dec. 9, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      SHAREHOLDER NOTICE: Goldberg Law PC Announces Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against TerraForm Global Inc. and Strongly Encourages Shareholders to Contact the Firm
      6:30 a.m. Dec. 9, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      GLBL INVESTORS NOTICE: Lieff Cabraser Reminds TerraForm Investors of Deadline in Securities Class Action
      6:34 p.m. Dec. 7, 2015 – BusinessWire – BZX
      Hagens Berman Reminds Investors With Losses Over $50,000 in TerraForm Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLBL) of Upcoming December 28, 2015 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
      8:30 a.m. Dec. 7, 2015 – GlobeNewswire
      SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Brower Piven Encourages Investors Who Have Losses in Excess of $100,000 From Investment in TerraForm Global, Inc. to Contact Brower Piven Before the Lead Plaintiff Deadline in Class Action Lawsuit – GLBL
      6:24 p.m. Dec. 3, 2015 – GlobeNewswire

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      john

      SunEdison’s Troubles Are Far From Over

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/3801946-sunedisons-troubles-are-far-from-over

      Summary

      SunEdison appears to be increasingly desperate to resolve its debt situation.

      SunEdison’s financial issues have forced the company to pull back on its ambitious renewable energy vision.

      The Vivint Solar acquisition deal looks increasingly risky given SunEdison’s dire financial situation and mounting investor pressures.

      SunEdison’s yieldcos are experiencing yet another downturn, which will make it harder for the company to make money off its projects.

      SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE) has continued to experience extreme volatility over the past few weeks. In just a matter of days, the company managed to almost completely wipe out the tremendous gains it made as a result of the U.S. ITC extension and global climate deal. SunEdison’s most recent stock drop was a result of the company’s efforts to relieve its debt situation by exchanging a substantial amount of debt for equity. More specifically, the company announced that it took on $725 million in new term loans and is diluting its equity to pay for its debt.

      Given the unfavorable loan terms (LIBOR +10% interest rate) that SunEdison has taken on, the company is evidently desperate to relieve its debt situation. With approximately $11.7 billion in debt, SunEdison is clearly prioritizing its financial situation. While SunEdison is smart to focus on improving its financials, the company’s decision to use equity to pay off debt has clearly been met with displeasure from investors. In fact, the company’s valuation dropped by approximately 40% immediately following the news of its recent transactions. SunEdison’s large array of businesses and desperate financial situation will likely continue to plague the company moving forward.

      Renewable Vision Not Panning Out…

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        john

        Tepper’s Latest Letter To Terraform Power Alleges Self-Dealing By SunEdison

        http://seekingalpha.com/article/3802476-teppers-latest-letter-to-terraform-power-alleges-self-dealing-by-sunedison

        In case SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE) management wasn’t already dealing with enough investor frustrations after their recent dilution announcement, they now have yet another issue to deal with. David Tepper-controlled Appaloosa Management filed an amended Form 13D on January 8th, which spelled out in detail the reasons for their Section 220(b) request to inspect the books and records of Terraform Power (NASDAQ:TERP).
        Appaloosa’s initial request for this information, made on December 21st, was denied by TERP’s counsel on the grounds that the request was too broad, and that Appaloosa had not noted a proper purpose. This was of course a stalling tactic by TERP, and Appaloosa has quickly responded with a more detailed request that TERP should not be able to deny.

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    hunter

    Buying at retail and selling at wholesale is the way life is in most industries.
    And the tiny quantities produced by roof top installations, along with the undependable nature should really be more like a discount to wholesale.

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    Franktoo (Frank)

    Citing Leonardo, Joanne posted: “the wholesale price for electricity in the region that includes Nevada averaged around two cents per kilowatt-hour in December.

    Let’s be a bit more realistic. According to the US Dept of Energy, the variable cost (mostly fuel) needed to produce a kWh of electricity is about US$0.03 for both coal and natural gas. So no one is routinely providing electricity from fossil fuel for $0.02 kWh. The typical cost for a typical US residential customer is about $0.10/kWh and more in some locations. The distributor buys wholesale power from generators at a lower price.

    A customer with solar panels can DEMAND power from the distributor anytime he needs it over infrastructure paid for by the distributor. The distributor is required to PAY for electricity from the customer’s solar panels whenever excess is generated – no matter how little that purchase reduces the distributor’s cost of buying electricity from dispatchable sources. Many customers install rooftop solar panels large enough to provide their average electricity consumption – which allows a customer to make no net payments to the distributor when the cost of incoming and outgoing power is the same. This situation is obviously absurd. $0.02 kWh may a fair price for excess solar electricity, given the distributor’s costs. All customers pay the distributors costs: When those with solar panels pay less than their fair share, their neighbors pay more.

    One can find all kinds of prices for the cost of rooftop solar, but I can’t find 25-30 cents per kWh in the linked reference, which appears to deal only with the installed cost: currently about $5000/kW. The amount of electricity produced depends on the efficiency of the panels (typically 15% for polysilicon) and the hours of sunlight per year (which varies with location). One value I found for Nevada was 4.3 kWh/d or 1250 kWh/yr per kW of installed capacity. (Sunnier south Nevada is probably more productive.) That is $4.00/kWh divided by the number of years the panels perform, before subsidies, depreciation, assumed discount rate, and price for sell back excess power (all of which can cause major perturbations). A customer who installed solar panels before the recent reduction in price could have paid far more than $5000/kW and therefore need the distributor to buy his excess power for far more than $0.02/ kWh to make a profit on his investment.

    http://www.solarreviews.com/solar-power/how-much-electricity-does-a-solar-power-system-generate/

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      Uwe Hayek

      @FrankToo

      Since I read about solar panel efficiency (you need only 1/6 of your roof to have enough electricity) and about Li-Ion battery longevity (4000+ cycles) I began to convert. Then I saw Elon Musks presentation on his powerwall, which btw sold out in one week for a total turnover of 800 million dollar, and now you have to wait until next summer to get one. (links to all this below)

      I started looking up prices and putting things together in a spreadsheet. The European (and especially Belgian) situation is different as we talk about retail electricity being at 0.38 us dollarcents per KWhr. Because they subsidized solar way too early, and now the average KWhr consumer has to pay the solar FerryMan.

      Prices for the solar panels came from (Isl-)Amazon. I ordered some Li-Ion batteries at a very good price and rated capacity, but I am awaiting the battery tester. The batteries came from China, and the tester also, and it has been a month underway. Who was afraid of economic powerhouse China again ? In the mean time the company that supplied the batteries probably went out of China-business, but I found equivalents on ALibaba.

      Everything put together I arrive at a cost of about 4 cents per KWhr, at a 15 year lifespan. This set includes everything : Inverter, 14KWhr Li-on battery, Charger, solar panels.

      According to some bussines analysts, the price of Solar Panels could drop by 99%, similar to computer-chip production, and the Li-Ion might drop by 50%. Then we probably go down to 1 US dollarcent per KWhr.

      But still, at 4 USdollarcent/KWhr now, it is economically viable, with prices in the US, it pays itself back in 8 years, in Belgium in less than 3 years.

      And I am having big fun in putting it all together.
      When I move to Portugal, I have an added plus : the grid over there is unreliable or non-existent, and, with lots of sunshine available there, this set becomes the only option.

      It has enough power to supply, in addition to a power hungry household, two electric cars, and can be expanded. Just add a few extra sq yards of solar, buy some more batteries, even electric cooking is not a problem. I am looking at a 14.000 Euro investment.

      All this without ANY subsidies.

      It is like having an Oil Well on your Roof or in your Garden !

      It does not get any better than this : I had already Left-Greenies crying out loud, “this is only for RICH people !”

      And even that is not true : with their government jobs they can apply for loans and subsidies, everybody can afford a system that pays for itself in 2-5 years, given some drop in price, yet to come.

      Uwe Hayek.

      http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/09/dont-be-a-pv-efficiency-snob/
      http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries
      http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B013HNAW2C

      10