The real cost of wind and solar: Why rates don't match the claims

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Well, if you and Pandabear are ultimately shuffling the same number of kWh over the lines but you pay $10 and he pays $90, clearly he's paying far more of the share of the grid upkeep and maintenance than you are. That's one of the things with these solar contracts that I think I pointed out previously, even with NEM, paying full retail to customers for their back-fed power is still a net loss for the utility, which has plenty of other expenses associated with providing those poles, wires and transformers to your location. By getting out of delivery on the amount of power transmitted (and that's not your fault, that's how they've structured this, somebody was braindead or didn't give a crap) you are almost using the infrastructure for free.

People with solar should be paying full pop for delivery for the total # of kWh moved on the wires. They should also be paid whatever the wholesale rate is for power at that time, because that's the value of that electricity at the time it is being delivered to the grid.
I wouldn't go that far as claiming that it is braindead. Remember back in the early 2000s we have Enron messing around with project deathstar and then we have super high oil / gas price that causes some bankruptcy (Calpine I think went out of business because of the natural gas price spike).

Having a diverse electricity source is very important. Sure you can build nuke and rely only on nuke, then an incident happens and the whole nation tries to shut down all the nuke and you are suddenly like Japan. Solar at least is a "fix" cost, grid is a "fix" cost for the same amount of kwh going through it regardless of which fuel you use. Is it good to have only solar and wind? No, but having some of it is good at least to shift some amount of peak away.

I don't think they anticipated Chinese to flood the market with so much solar, but it happened, and they will have to eventually stop net metering for new customers. Some will go battery, some will probably form their own municipal microgrid, some will probably have solar + SOFC to balance their own facility's need (those who need heat or use heat to absorption cooling), some will do on demand work like data center's non real time computation (AI training, throttle the GPU when electricity is expensive and overclock overvolt them when they are cheap), etc.

Thing about the US is, we don't have a communist state that build the grid and pay for them with property tax, we like to charge its usage and under build them if they won't make money. This means we will have high distribution cost just like toll road makes people think twice about driving over it and not a lot of usage compare to a free highway.

In the end I just don't think people care too much about electricity cost here, we don't see people use the more efficient mini split AC or upgrade their appliances because of efficiency. We don't even see people trading in crew cabs and SUVs for Prius.
 

OVERKILL

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I wouldn't go that far as claiming that it is braindead. Remember back in the early 2000s we have Enron messing around with project deathstar and then we have super high oil / gas price that causes some bankruptcy (Calpine I think went out of business because of the natural gas price spike).

Having a diverse electricity source is very important. Sure you can build nuke and rely only on nuke, then an incident happens and the whole nation tries to shut down all the nuke and you are suddenly like Japan. Solar at least is a "fix" cost, grid is a "fix" cost for the same amount of kwh going through it regardless of which fuel you use. Is it good to have only solar and wind? No, but having some of it is good at least to shift some amount of peak away.

I don't think they anticipated Chinese to flood the market with so much solar, but it happened, and they will have to eventually stop net metering for new customers. Some will go battery, some will probably form their own municipal microgrid, some will probably have solar + SOFC to balance their own facility's need (those who need heat or use heat to absorption cooling), some will do on demand work like data center's non real time computation (AI training, throttle the GPU when electricity is expensive and overclock overvolt them when they are cheap), etc.

Thing about the US is, we don't have a communist state that build the grid and pay for them with property tax, we like to charge its usage and under build them if they won't make money. This means we will have high distribution cost just like toll road makes people think twice about driving over it and not a lot of usage compare to a free highway.
I'm not saying having solar is braindead, it was constructing the scheme for residential users who do it to not pay the same fees for using the grid as everyone else, that was braindead, because it screws everyone else and PG&E is already a gong show, they didn't need to make it worse with this nonsense.
 
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Oh BTW, my rate plan is tier based regardless of time, because I don't use that much electricity (and when I do it is always because of AC in the expensive hours). If I use time of use rate, I probably would be paying 46 c/kwh from 4-9pm and 12 c/kwh from 12am-7am.

Will I be able to take advantage of that? Sure, but will my wife listen and will my kid care? Probably not. So I figure a certain extra $1-5 per month is a calculated certain cost vs an uncertain loss of $4-10. This is how some Texans got screwed in the last "snow storm".

If I have an EV I certainly will do differently, and I might set a timer on my dryer to lock them out between 4pm-9pm, charge only from 12-7am, etc.

Regarding to who use what amount of grid at which hour and which direction, well. People hardly use electricity at midnight to 7am and we still need to build the grid for that, so we still have to charge "somehow". There is no way to make it "fair" for everyone and for only certain hours. Which brings me to an example.

Back in my dad's childhood, they sublease a small section of a house from another family who has electricity, and really use it to light up everywhere from their pig pen to their hallways. The landlord propose to split the cost per person and obviously, not fair to my dad's family as they are broke and barely use light. So they just went off-grid and use candle (nobody has refrigerator back then and all cooking were done with wood stove, electricity was only for lighting).

Fair? How do you make things "fair"? We are human and it is impossible to make it fair for all.
 
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Well, if you and Pandabear are ultimately shuffling the same number of kWh over the lines but you pay $10 and he pays $90, clearly he's paying far more of the share of the grid upkeep and maintenance than you are. That's one of the things with these solar contracts that I think I pointed out previously, even with NEM, paying full retail to customers for their back-fed power is still a net loss for the utility, which has plenty of other expenses associated with providing those poles, wires and transformers to your location. By getting out of delivery on the amount of power transmitted (and that's not your fault, that's how they've structured this, somebody was braindead or didn't give a crap) you are almost using the infrastructure for free.

People with solar should be paying full pop for delivery for the total # of kWh moved on the wires. They should also be paid whatever the wholesale rate is for power at that time, because that's the value of that electricity at the time it is being delivered to the grid.
Don't they charge the full delivery charge to net consumers. If someone who was a net producer of power had to pay per kwH regardless which direction the power was going wouldn't PG&E be collecting twice?

To me, it seems reasonable that there is a fixed charge such as the $10-$12 seen to be connected to the grid. But the per kwH charges are paid by net consumers of electricity. If someone is a net producer, the costs for that power to be moved is paid by the ultimate consumer. The lines to that producer have value in so much as they provide power the utility can sell to others.

Consumers pay the costs (or at least the allowed rate) to get the power to them regardless where it comes from. So consumers pay the costs to maintain the grid because they are the ones who need it, or use it more than producers.

That seems reasonable to me. Now is it economically viable for PG&E? I have no idea. But it makes no sense to say a producer has to pay for some portion of the grid to send their power and then have consumers charged a second time for that same power to use it.
 
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BMWTurboDzl - my reply won't be directed at you personally, but the topics you bring up, as I believe you've fairly summarized the typical "benefits" often touted about Wind, Solar, Biofuels.



That's part of the falacy of "green" WSB (wind-solar-biofuels). They are only able to reduce "net emmisions" on the front end. They have MASSIVE concerns to deal with on the back end. I'll address your three goals one by one

Goal 1 - net emmisions
First of all, production of solar panels (and the batteries it takes to make wind/solar viable) is terribly laden with pollution; it just happens in other countries where the materials are mined. Even making batteries is fraught with environmental issues. If one looks at the TOTAL emmisions and pollution from Wind and Solar, it's not really any more attractive than fossil fuels. It's not "net neutral" by any means; it's only "net displaced overseas pollution".

Biofuels are just as bad, believe it or not ...
By far, the most common is ethanol, and was supposed to be a miracle cure. Or so we were lead to believe. But here's the reality:

Other biofuels are WAY behind and have not given any hope whatsoever of large scale salvation. Sure - you're enterprising neighbor who can run his Jetta TDI on used fry oil may save his corner of the block from eternal environmental collapse, but bio-diesel is no where near a reality in large scale, and neither are the other forms of biofuels. Rapeseed? Nowhere close yet. Algee bio-diesel? Not as good as was promised. Ethanol is the most prolific, and it's now being fairly viewed as "just about as bad" as fossil fuels when the TOTAL emmissions are honestly accounted for. Ethanol is every bit as bad as fossil fuels.


Goal 2 - make green "as affordable as possible"
That's kind of misleading. Actually, it's really misleading. "As affordable as possible" does not equate to practically afforable. It's really just a spin on words to say "it' won't be cheap, but we can move fungible funds around to make it SEEM affordable". Fossil fuels are cheap, period. Current geo-political topics asside, if fossil fuels were allowed to be developed by free-market options, both crude oil and natural gas would be incredibly cheap in North America. We have PLENTY of crude in North America, and we have stupid-huge amounts of natural gas here as well. To say the "goal" of green energy is to be "as afforadable as possible" is nowhere near the same as saying "make green as affordable as fossil fuels". If WSB had to stand on their on feet, with no subsidy assistance, and fossil fuels were allowed to stand on their feet, with no hinderance, then WSB would die on the vine within months. The unspoken "goal" of green energy is to take the pain of the costs of green and force them onto the fossil fuels; that's making green "as affordable as possible". That's not a legit goal; that's a scam.


Goal 3 - don't make the environment any worse off in the process
Complete and utter total failure there. As I already showed, the true concerns of long term Wind and Solar are just beginning to rear their ugle heads. The MASSIVE amounts of solid and toxic waste are poised to go exponentially high from these "green" technoligies which have almost no ability to be recycled, and when burried, leach toxic heavy metals into the ground. How is that "not making things any worse off" ????



The reality is that the concerns from fossil fuels are very easy to see up front. In contrast, the concerns from WSB are not seen for a couple decades down the road. Typical of many shortsighted cultures, it's easy to blame what's directly in front of you while ignoring the even larger problem your "solution" creates. We're really good at kicking the can down the road, even when it comes to WSB green efforts.

- WSB is not a viable solution in terms of total energy demands; they fail the capacity test.
- WSB is every bit as harmful as fossil fuels when the totality of pollution circumstances are taken into account; they fail the "net neutral" test.
- WSB would never survive a balance-sheet evaluation if they had to stand alone with no subsidy help; they fail the fiscal test.


The "goals" you speak of are not very attractive at all, when the whole truth is known.

Goal 1 - Agree there's some pollution but it's still less than fossil fuel only. Ethanol is for emissions as you well know and yes the source (ie. Corn) is political but it requires political will to pass legislation. It just goes with the territory.

Goal 2 - Affordability. IMO US customers have never paid the true cost of energy. Oil/Gas prices have been indirectly subsidized to the tune of trillions of dollars. The cost is wrapped up in Treasury debt which will never really be paid off. Also Oil/Gas is a global commodity so you can't silo the US market from the rest of the world. Let me repeat. you cannot silo the US oil/gas market from the rest of the world. This is in addition to the fact that the majority of reserves are located in unstable regions of the world.

If anything the price would be more volatile and consequently consumers would probably buy smaller and more FE vehicles in order to insulate themselves from the price swings. When I was speaking of affordability I was speaking of how Govt's would induce adoption of cleaner forms of energy. Hence the tax credits. This is what I meant by making the technology more affordable. Obviously there's an issue when it comes to sunsetting those credits.


Goal 3 - There's isn't a massive amount of toxic waste. It's there, but it's not "MASSIVE". One could argue that it's at least easier to manage if there's the will unlike Oil/Gas which just vents to the atmosphere 24/7. For example NatGas producers flare billions of cubic meters of gas every year. Speaking of NatGas did you know that some permits aren't being issued in Texas because frackers have been causing earthquakes?

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/te...other-72-oil-related-well-permits-2022-01-21/

https://www.naturalgasintel.com/som...mits-suspended-by-texas-rrc-following-quakes/
 
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Obligatory in before the lock comment.

Of course they real cost doesn't match the claims. That's how they get you to buy into it.
I'm not convinced that rooftop solar is a particularly good option either, since the cost of removing and reinstalling the panels every time you need a new roof or roof repairs probably wipes out any savings (and they never mention this). I do like the idea of ground based solar.
 
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I'm not saying having solar is braindead, it was constructing the scheme for residential users who do it to not pay the same fees for using the grid as everyone else, that was braindead, because it screws everyone else and PG&E is already a gong show, they didn't need to make it worse with this nonsense.


It’s favoritism and social engineering plain and simple. Another example is allowing EVs to use the tolled lanes for free.
 

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Don't they charge the full delivery charge to net consumers. If someone who was a net producer of power had to pay per kwH regardless which direction the power was going wouldn't PG&E be collecting twice?
Delivery isn't about consumption, it's about the transmission of power; the use of the infrastructure to move electricity and it doesn't matter which direction that electricity is going. If you are using that infrastructure to make money (sell power back to the grid, which you are already making off like a bandit on, getting retail or FIT rates) then you should be paying to cover the cost of how much power you transmitted over that infrastructure, not just the net consumption. The usage is bi-directional, you aren't only putting a load on that transformer when you consume for example.
To me, it seems reasonable that there is a fixed charge such as the $10-$12 seen to be connected to the grid. But the per kwH charges are paid by net consumers of electricity. If someone is a net producer, the costs for that power to be moved is paid by the ultimate consumer. The lines to that producer have value in so much as they provide power the utility can sell to others.
I disagree on the latter bit. Yes, there should be a fixed charge for delivery, I think ours is around $25 or something, and then it's based on usage above that. Per my previous statement, it's about the use of the infrastructure and regardless of whether you are using that to make money (FIT/NEM) or consume, you are ultimately doing the same thing, and so you should be paying delivery/transmission charges on the total amount of power moved in kWh.
Consumers pay the costs (or at least the allowed rate) to get the power to them regardless where it comes from. So consumers pay the costs to maintain the grid because they are the ones who need it, or use it more than producers.
Traditionally, Joe Average ratepayer was not in a position to sell power back to the grid, so the billing structure was never setup to accommodate what that would look like. I don't get a choice as to where my power comes from, and I didn't have a choice to have my delivery charge double to connect some insanely subsidized wind and solar installs built in the middle of nowhere connected to the grid either, like with the FIT's for home users, that was a decision made by the people making promises who didn't heed the words of the body they had constructed to advise them on those matters.

A power plant DOES have to maintain some transmission infrastructure. There's a lot of equipment in the substation at the plant; between the large transmission towers where the grid connection starts and the generators themselves, which is chalk full of breakers, transformers and other pieces of equipment to facilitate the safe hookup of that generating infrastructure to the grid. A power plant is also its own source of revenue, and it has to make money to stay in business and cover its OPEX because its existence is predicated on delivering reliable power at a price point that works with the market it is operating in.

Due to how electricity is delivered to the home, Joe Average home owner is only liable for what is behind the meter. They get to use the transformers, meter, and breakers for free because it's part of the distribution system in this case, because, as I noted, the system was never setup for what we are currently doing. They are also not in a position that requires them to make a profit or they'll lose their home, yet the system was structured with subsidy initially to guarantee just that, at rates traditional generators couldn't even dream of. Even with NEM, the deck is stacked crazily in the favour of Joe Homeowner, as they get credited full retail while a wholesale operator could be getting 1/10th of that, but they have to provide reliable power, while if some cloud cover comes in and Joe's output tanks, he's not responsible for that.

Hydro One here in Ontario has a fee schedule for two classes of distributed generators who do actually have to pay delivery, this is the smaller of the two:
Tarriffs and rates.PNG


You'll note Joe Homeowner (included under MicroFIT) is exempted from these fees, and they only have to pay the following:
MicroFIT.PNG


So, if you built a small hydro electric dam on your property that you paid for, and wanted to feed into the grid, you get boned on delivery; you have to pay for that service. But, if you slapped on some rooftop solar back when the MicroFIT program was still in full swing, well, you are good to go, you don't have to pay anything.

That seems reasonable to me. Now is it economically viable for PG&E? I have no idea. But it makes no sense to say a producer has to pay for some portion of the grid to send their power and then have consumers charged a second time for that same power to use it.
Again, it's about moving X number of kWh over the poles and wires and having access to that service. You should not be able to wipe out those costs just by exporting more power than you imported, you've still utilized those resources, it doesn't matter which way the power is flowing.
 
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Delivery isn't about consumption, it's about the transmission of power; the use of the infrastructure to move electricity and it doesn't matter which direction that electricity is going. If you are using that infrastructure to make money (sell power back to the grid, which you are already making off like a bandit on, getting retail or FIT rates) then you should be paying to cover the cost of how much power you transmitted over that infrastructure, not just the net consumption. The usage is bi-directional, you aren't only putting a load on that transformer when you consume for example.

I disagree on the latter bit. Yes, there should be a fixed charge for delivery, I think ours is around $25 or something, and then it's based on usage above that. Per my previous statement, it's about the use of the infrastructure and regardless of whether you are using that to make money (FIT/NEM) or consume, you are ultimately doing the same thing, and so you should be paying delivery/transmission charges on the total amount of power moved in kWh.

Traditionally, Joe Average ratepayer was not in a position to sell power back to the grid, so the billing structure was never setup to accommodate what that would look like. I don't get a choice as to where my power comes from, and I didn't have a choice to have my delivery charge double to connect some insanely subsidized wind and solar installs built in the middle of nowhere connected to the grid either, like with the FIT's for home users, that was a decision made by the people making promises who didn't heed the words of the body they had constructed to advise them on those matters.

A power plant DOES have to maintain some transmission infrastructure. There's a lot of equipment in the substation at the plant; between the large transmission towers where the grid connection starts and the generators themselves, which is chalk full of breakers, transformers and other pieces of equipment to facilitate the safe hookup of that generating infrastructure to the grid. A power plant is also its own source of revenue, and it has to make money to stay in business and cover its OPEX because its existence is predicated on delivering reliable power at a price point that works with the market it is operating in.

Due to how electricity is delivered to the home, Joe Average home owner is only liable for what is behind the meter. They get to use the transformers, meter, and breakers for free because it's part of the distribution system in this case, because, as I noted, the system was never setup for what we are currently doing. They are also not in a position that requires them to make a profit or they'll lose their home, yet the system was structured with subsidy initially to guarantee just that, at rates traditional generators couldn't even dream of. Even with NEM, the deck is stacked crazily in the favour of Joe Homeowner, as they get credited full retail while a wholesale operator could be getting 1/10th of that, but they have to provide reliable power, while if some cloud cover comes in and Joe's output tanks, he's not responsible for that.

Hydro One here in Ontario has a fee schedule for two classes of distributed generators who do actually have to pay delivery, this is the smaller of the two:
View attachment 99363

You'll note Joe Homeowner (included under MicroFIT) is exempted from these fees, and they only have to pay the following:
View attachment 99364

So, if you built a small hydro electric dam on your property that you paid for, and wanted to feed into the grid, you get boned on delivery; you have to pay for that service. But, if you slapped on some rooftop solar back when the MicroFIT program was still in full swing, well, you are good to go, you don't have to pay anything.


Again, it's about moving X number of kWh over the poles and wires and having access to that service. You should not be able to wipe out those costs just by exporting more power than you imported, you've still utilized those resources, it doesn't matter which way the power is flowing.
Even the $10-$12/month is a fixed charge for being attached to the grid, and it appears there are charges for that.
I believe the accounting works and regardless if someone pays for their grid usage in money or in the value of the electricity being fed back into it. (After all, it's not like consumers get to pay less for transmission if they say I want java's power that he's generating and paying to put on the grid.)

So is the home producer really getting a free attachment, or does it come from the value of the power produced?
To make things simple, let's say transmission costs the consumer 4 cents/kwH. Are you saying that both the producer pay the 4 cents for the privilege of selling back power AND the consumer pay the same 4 cents/kwH for what they consume?

Maybe we are misunderstanding.
I don't think anyone is hooked up for free. But they may not have to pay cash money as the value of what they produce over what they consume constitutes payment for being hooked up.

It's not like utilities charge power plants or grid interconnections a fee to transmit their power into the grid. They pay for their side of the connection and the utility pays theirs. and the costs are passed on to consumers.

I.E. does PG&E charge the Hoover Dam (assuming the power can be sent to CA) for connection to their grid to supply power?
If home producers were forced to pay, but large generators got to hook up for free, that creates an uneven playing field. Two different standards based on size of production.
 
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I may be getting a better deal than non-solar people; I dunno for sure and PG&E sure ain't gonna tell the truth. Having said that, if you think PG&E is my friend, or yours, you are sadly mistaken.
Ask the many victims of the 2018 California Camp fire that PG&E caused have yet to see a cent of the $13.5 billion the company owes them. Maybe @UncleDave and @PandaBear should pony up some more cash?
But don't ask the PG&E Directors who are asking the PUC an additionl $200M+ more in profits...

Gee, I wonder why our electricity prices are among the highest in the nation? Can you say, "monopoly"?

Regarding solar, I imagine, as @javacontour suggests, the surplus I am sending back to PG&E makes them pretty happy.
I am sure @OVERKILL is spot on, but I also believe PG&E is concerned with the total return they get from each customer. If (and it is a big if) I am sending enough value they are more than happy to not "add on" an addition transmission line item charge as it is buried in the solar generation. As a business analyst I have done significant cost analysis. This is an old trick to make a customer happy.
Again, I do not pretend to know the entire story.
 
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OVERKILL

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Even the $10-$12/month is a fixed charge for being attached to the grid, and it appears there are charges for that.
I believe the accounting works and regardless if someone pays for their grid usage in money or in the value of the electricity being fed back into it. (After all, it's not like consumers get to pay less for transmission if they say I want java's power that he's generating and paying to put on the grid.)
But they aren't being paid the value of that electricity, that's the chasm created with FIT's and even NEM, they are being grossly over-compensated.
So is the home producer really getting a free attachment, or does it come from the value of the power produced?
Yes, they are not only getting a free attachment, they are also being over-payed for the value of their power.
To make things simple, let's say transmission costs the consumer 4 cents/kwH. Are you saying that both the producer pay the 4 cents for the privilege of selling back power AND the consumer pay the same 4 cents/kwH for what they consume?
Yes, see the Hydro One examples I posted above for non-FIT embedded generation, they have to pay their transmission and grid connection costs to sell power back to the grid. Consumers are exempt from that because it would have slowed uptake; would have slowed the agenda.
Maybe we are misunderstanding.
I don't think anyone is hooked up for free. But they may not have to pay cash money as the value of what they produce over what they consume constitutes payment for being hooked up.
That's getting hooked up for free. If you aren't being properly billed for the total volume of electricity that goes through the lines from your house, regardless of which direction that power is flowing, but rather the export value is allowed to nullify the delivery cost (which it shouldn't be, transmission costs should be cumulative for import/export, not offset) then you are getting to use the infrastructure at no cost. Again, look at the examples I provided from Hydro One, it is specifically holders of MicroFIT contracts that were exempt from the embedded generation fees.
It's not like utilities charge power plants or grid interconnections a fee to transmit their power into the grid. They pay for their side of the connection and the utility pays theirs. and the costs are passed on to consumers.
I mean, they do. Again, look at the example from Hydro One. Now, I don't know if Bruce Power has to pay to connect their 6.6GW nuke plant to the grid, maybe there's a cut-off threshold for installed capacity, but they certainly have a not insignificant amount of transmission infrastructure to maintain of their own, including two absolutely massive switchyards so that they can connect to the grid.
I.E. does PG&E charge the Hoover Dam (assuming the power can be sent to CA) for connection to their grid to supply power?
They might. It depends on who is running the distribution, again, as per the example from Hydro One, some do.
If home producers were forced to pay, but large generators got to hook up for free, that creates an uneven playing field. Two different standards based on size of production.
It's already an uneven playing field! If a nuke plant gets paid $0.077/kWh for their generation and Joe Blow gets $0.80/kWh, that's clearly not balanced! Even with NEM, if Joe Blow gets $0.15/kWh, he's getting paid basically TWICE what the nuke is being paid, even though the nuke is providing reliable 24/7 power.

In a market-based system, like is in place in California, the value of the electricity is determined by transactions on the market. Generators bid in their offering and the offer on the stack that meets capacity sets the price that everyone receives. Big thermals often bid in super cheap so that they are ensured they get to sell their power. Large renewable projects will often bid close to zero because they are already getting a tax credit and if they are producing, even if the market price ends up clearing low, they have very little OPEX, so it is very easy to turn a profit. Peaker gas will bid in higher because it has significant OPEX in standby operation and is used less frequently, so they need a higher price to stay viable.

Unfortunately, the market is often perverted by first to grid rights and other must-take style stipulations that give VRE priority access.

So, if Joe Blow is going to sell his power to the grid, he should be paid the market rate, he's not, because then he wouldn't be guaranteed a profit, and that guarantee is the primary reason embedded solar uptake is so high.
 
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Everything in the world has a fixed cost and a variable cost.

Fixed cost: someone has a pole at the end of the road to his house, cost $20k to build, to power their 300kwh a month bill. Does he pay the delivery per kwh or 20k over 20 years to connect to the grid? What is the fair amount to pay?

Variable cost: someone has been paying only 10 a month to connect to the grid, it is at the max load in worst case. Someone build an office building on the street to connect to the existing line and now they need to pay 2M to rebuild the local grid, either some new lines or a new substation upgrade, do you still charge everyone 10 a month or do you charge per kwh? How is it fair and how do you charge them fairly? per kwh?

You can never make everything in shared infrastructure fair to everyone when we can't even decide what is "fair".
 
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Looking @JeffKeryk bill.

It seems his net usage is 196kWh

I'm going to round in many places as all these decimals just get in the way. The only place I'm representing decimals is things like price/kWh which still rounded to the nearest cent.

He used 158kWh peak usage.
Off peak he used -354kWh

He was charged $62 for his peak usage @$0.39/kWh
He earned $132 for what went back in the grid @$0.37/kWh

Looks like he also pays something called a baseline credit of $18 at $0.09/kWh

Some other money is take out in various charges. Ironically the Generation Credit is a charge to him of over $24

So while the value of his 354kWh of electricity is $132 and $70 over the $62 he paid for peak power, his bill is only a $19 credit.

How is he not paying his share for the grid et al?

Effectively, he got just under $0.10/kWh for the electricty he sold back to the grid.

So he paid $0.39/kWh and got about 1/4 of that in what he put back into the grid.

If he got the full $0.37/kWh for what he produced over and above consumption, he would have a credit of around $70. The fees et al that he pays knocks about 73% of that off, leaving him with a credit just above $19 for the month.

So again, explain to me how others are subsidizing his system (at least on the bill, I'm sure there are other subsidy programs and tax credits in place. But that's government, not PG&E doing this.)

The net effect on his bill is only 27% of what PG&E ends up charging others for that power in the grid.

And to be honest, I've not looked at the other examples, so maybe things are more silly in Canada.

And perhaps I wasn't clear, are you saying we charge producers for things not on their side of the grid? Obviously producers are responsible for things on their side of the demarcation. But do producers have to pay the consumer for things on that side?
 
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Everything in the world has a fixed cost and a variable cost.

Fixed cost: someone has a pole at the end of the road to his house, cost $20k to build, to power their 300kwh a month bill. Does he pay the delivery per kwh or 20k over 20 years to connect to the grid? What is the fair amount to pay?

Variable cost: someone has been paying only 10 a month to connect to the grid, it is at the max load in worst case. Someone build an office building on the street to connect to the existing line and now they need to pay 2M to rebuild the local grid, either some new lines or a new substation upgrade, do you still charge everyone 10 a month or do you charge per kwh? How is it fair and how do you charge them fairly? per kwh?

You can never make everything in shared infrastructure fair to everyone when we can't even decide what is "fair".
At least here in Illinois, there are different classes of service. Seems to be roughly based on the max power you can consume. So an aluminum smelting plant that has electric induction ovens isn't going to pay $10 / month for their service like a homeowner just to be connected.
 
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Carbon taxes are a way of trying to price pollution (ie. negative externality). For example some of the biggest emitters of methane are NatGas producers. Methane* leaks via wells and the distribution network. Methane (a GHG) is a negative externality. How do you levy a cost for that externality? Carbon tax.

One of the largest examples of negative externalities is ocean dumping. Do you think the owners of that trash pay for the true cost to the environment? Historically that inability to assign ownership of a waste stream has been one of the biggest reasons why energy and/or goods were cheap. If an emitter doesn't have to be responsible for their waste that's an additional expense they don't have to incur so they don't have to raise their prices.

From a BITOG perspective we have seen that with the introduction of emissions controls systems over the last 60 years. Fuel injection, PCV/EGR, catalytic converters, SCR, DPF/GPF, etc. All of this technology has made vehicle emissions cleaner but there's a cost.

The biggest fault with the carbon tax is arriving at an accurate dollar amount. It's not possible.


*Annual NatGas emissions from Permian basin equate to about 500k cars.
Have some BUS101 news for you, corporations don't pay taxes at all. You pay them all in the final cost of the product or service.
 

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Looking @JeffKeryk bill.

It seems his net usage is 196kWh

I'm going to round in many places as all these decimals just get in the way. The only place I'm representing decimals is things like price/kWh which still rounded to the nearest cent.

He used 158kWh peak usage.
Off peak he used -354kWh

He was charged $62 for his peak usage @$0.39/kWh
He earned $132 for what went back in the grid @$0.37/kWh

Looks like he also pays something called a baseline credit of $18 at $0.09/kWh

Some other money is take out in various charges. Ironically the Generation Credit is a charge to him of over $24

So while the value of his 354kWh of electricity is $132 and $70 over the $62 he paid for peak power, his bill is only a $19 credit.

How is he not paying his share for the grid et al?

Effectively, he got just under $0.10/kWh for the electricty he sold back to the grid.

So he paid $0.39/kWh and got about 1/4 of that in what he put back into the grid.

If he got the full $0.37/kWh for what he produced over and above consumption, he would have a credit of around $70. The fees et al that he pays knocks about 73% of that off, leaving him with a credit just above $19 for the month.

So again, explain to me how others are subsidizing his system (at least on the bill, I'm sure there are other subsidy programs and tax credits in place. But that's government, not PG&E doing this.)

The net effect on his bill is only 27% of what PG&E ends up charging others for that power in the grid.

And to be honest, I've not looked at the other examples, so maybe things are more silly in Canada.

And perhaps I wasn't clear, are you saying we charge producers for things not on their side of the grid? Obviously producers are responsible for things on their side of the demarcation. But do producers have to pay the consumer for things on that side?
OK, I'm getting frustrated trying to explain this so I'm just going to bow out of this at this point, I've explained it as well as I can, maybe I'll revisit it later.
 
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Have some BUS101 news for you, corporations don't pay taxes at all. You pay them all in the final cost of the product or service.
Bus501 for you. The business pays the tax, how much of it that they wish to pass onto the customer is up to them. It could be some or all or none of it.
 
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OK, I'm getting frustrated trying to explain this so I'm just going to bow out of this at this point, I've explained it as well as I can, maybe I'll revisit it later.
That's okay, I may not be understanding it.

I don't think it's as bad as some say.
It's not the great deal those who would sell solar claim it is. After all, Jeff's only getting about 27% of what PG&E charges. So the delta from what is charged and and what he pays has to go towards their bottom line and/or costs to maintain the grid.

The one that that is clear to me is they make this far more complex than it needs to be.

And as I said, just because it works that way for him doesn't preclude your system in Canada from being even more maddening.

The deal for me (isn't it all about me, LOL.) is that my power is so inexpensive, it's hard to make the case for on premises solar generation. My rates seem to be about 1/4 of Jeff's all in.

Glad I don't live in CA. But I do like to visit from time to time.
 
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Speaking of California....
We import substantially more of our energy than we produce. I guess the pain of pollutants can be minimized that way.
 

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Bus501 for you. The business pays the tax, how much of it that they wish to pass onto the customer is up to them. It could be some or all or none of it.
Riiight...like people decide to eat all, part or none of the bag of chips they bought.
 
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