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

4WD

$50 site donor 2023
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
20,149
Location
Texas via IAH
Yeah, it's hard to sell low emissions baseload into a market that's distorted by REC's that you somehow aren't eligible for, despite having lower lifecycle emissions than the sources that are, and you can't compete with cheap gas. Of course now gas is no longer cheap, but it was at the time.

This is why electricity markets are such a farce, at least in terms of realizing the current claimed goals. They are manipulated to realize penetration targets, serving favour to ideology, don't encourage resiliency (see: Texas) and then when things get tight, prices go to the moon and then governments intervene imposing caps and distorting the market further.

Some of the best run and lowest cost (for consumers) grids on the planet are vertically integrated and publicly owned. Hydo-Quebec immediately comes to mind. Electricity in France is an interesting one, as even though they participate in the European market, EDF services consumers directly, so these transactions are not involved in the market, which is only used to buy extra capacity and sell surplus. This is somewhat similar to Ontario where we have a "market" but nothing really participates in it, because it's all either at cost (OPG) or on a long-term contract. Lots of extra complexity and cost were added here with the breakup of Ontario Hydro, the creation of a market and its regulators, only to regulate and contract all supply to ensure availability, so it is really only used for import/export transactions.
I had 40 year old living plants that were supposed to live much longer but are dead and gone … Those are better metrics than the oblique Houston Chronicle or CBC … Seriously doubt I’ll see as cold as long in my lifetime and lessons learned are in place … I personally have NG, on a secure grid on purpose, and have many multi fuel gens (AEP did not shed power) … we don’t have all eggs in one basket … and on average it’s barely even snowed once a decade in my lifetime …
I have gens for hurricanes and currently 5-1/2 hours is the longest on them since buying my house in 1996 …
I’m happy to live in Texas and able to shop energy plans - sell back to the grid … all that …
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
5,098
Location
The land of USA-made Subies!
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.
I wish I still had the article to post; maybe someone has seen it and has the link. It explored “greenhouse gases” and their overall effect on “climate”. It turns out that yes, CO2 does have “an” effect, and is about 5x more than the other gases that normally make up our atmosphere. And that is where almost all of the climate alarmists & sheep stop: CARBON DIOXIDE IS BAD!

However, the study found that in the overall picture, CO2 was only responsible for about 2% of the cumulative effect, with the other gases totaling about 3%. So that’s 5% of the overall “greenhouse effect”. Guess what the missing 95% is comprised of, and what climate alarmists never mention: water vapor! Yes, water vapor in the atmosphere is responsible for 95% of “climate change”.

So let’s review, for the ecologically challenged: higher water vapor & higher CO2 are responsible for “warming”. Plants then take the higher water & CO2 and then turn them into more robust growth. Automatic sequestration! Who knew?? The study closed and said that IF: 1. You accept the overall CO2 argument of the IPCC and 2. Plot that effect by itself, it will take the planet roughly 1,500 years from today to see a 1.5*C increase even if CO2 continues to increase at worst-case scenarios. The paper was collaborated on by like 250 scientists, meteorologists, and data people.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
86
Location
SoCal
Dont mis understand or take personally my post. I am just trying to understand what you are saying.
If I am understanding correctly you are saying you pay double the rate per kWh for electric than what the electric utility pays you per kWh when you have a surplus from your solar panels sold back to them?

If so, as a non solar panel owner that sounds like other rate payers might be subsidizing you having solar panels.
Im not sure of the cost your utility pays for electricity but I think it might be less than what the utility is forced to pay you because of regulations. More or less them paying you 1/2 of what they charge you might not cover all the costs involved for the electric grid, distribution ect.
What if the cost to them is only (just pulling numbers out of a hat) 1/3 of what they charge you?

Some solar homeowners (not saying you) do not take this into account.

Maybe someone like Overkill knows the actual cost to generate in an area like yours, then you have to build in distribution and all the systems required for it including staffing, materials maintenance ect ect... and lets not forget about profit.

Im not saying you, but some solar owners think an electric meter going backwards means they get full retail price of the electric that they are selling back to the utility which would mean your neighbors are subsidizing your system.
No, nothing personal, but people that don't have solar mostly aren't aware of the details. Yes, I am saying I pay twice what I am credited. However some are saying that solar is getting a free ride because they don't pay distribution and etc. costs. My reply was merely to say it is paid for in a different manner.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
10,058
Location
Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
It’s hard to untangle solar as it differs from one power provider to another and there are many other incentives involved that are not shown on the utility bill.

The early adopters definitely got a free ride as a far as connection and distribution fees go because they had a guaranteed buy back rate which was considerable higher than the consumption rate.

Today, most solar is on net metering and credits received widely vary from one provider to the next and it can also change over time, usually the amount they pay gets lower and lower as more solar gets installed.

My feeling as to why they don’t charge specifically for distribution fees is that these fees would then have to go to grid maintenance. By not charging these specific fees, they can use them to fund more solar projects. The whole thing was set up, I believe, to eventually feed itself to some extent, but at the expense of the normal users that do not have solar panels.

That is why the electricity rates continue to climb. Of course, these rate hikes are blamed on something else and general public is led to believe that by installing solar, they will hedge against future hikes, not realizing that it is solar that is causing these hikes to begin with. Also, since the utilities have full control how much they pay for credited KWh, the expected savings may diminish greatly over time.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,075
Location
Ontario, Canada
It’s hard to untangle solar as it differs from one power provider to another and there are many other incentives involved that are not shown on the utility bill.

The early adopters definitely got a free ride as a far as connection and distribution fees go because they had a guaranteed buy back rate which was considerable higher than the consumption rate.

Today, most solar is on net metering and credits received widely vary from one provider to the next and it can also change over time, usually the amount they pay gets lower and lower as more solar gets installed.

My feeling as to why they don’t charge specifically for distribution fees is that these fees would then have to go to grid maintenance. By not charging these specific fees, they can use them to fund more solar projects. The whole thing was set up, I believe, to eventually feed itself to some extent, but at the expense of the normal users that do not have solar panels.

That is why the electricity rates continue to climb. Of course, these rate hikes are blamed on something else and general public is led to believe that by installing solar, they will hedge against future hikes, not realizing that it is solar that is causing these hikes to begin with. Also, since the utilities have full control how much they pay for credited KWh, the expected savings may diminish greatly over time.
It's also hard to get a balanced perspective because a ratepayer who spends the capital on a solar system and then doesn't realize the return they were expecting may feel screwed, despite not being burdened with the other costs any other generator has to deal with, or the variability in compensation inherent with a market system.

There's a bit of a scheme underway here where people are sold into the idea of a distributed grid/microgrid concept as being lower cost and as this "organic" and "sustainable" concept where they are "sticking it" to the big evil utility company.

The reality of course that society moved away from small, distributed systems and toward larger interconnected ones with larger generators because of the advantages of scale. A large nuclear power plant, despite heavy levels of staffing, can produce electricity around the clock for as little as $0.035/kWh, which includes fuel and all other OPEX components. When gas prices were low, a gas plant was even cheaper. A microgrid that leverages intermittent sources plus storage to try and deliver the same level of power and reliability will be much higher cost, but the price of storage is rarely factored into the pitch for these systems as "the grid" is seen as providing that stability, which then contradicts the whole idea behind what is being peddled.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
11,993
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Here is a screen shot of 2021 data on electrical production in California. Two out-takes. Fully half of their power comes from Natural gas. Secondly, they import a lot of power from the Province of British Columbia in Canada. See “ Large Hydro - Northwest Imports” BC Hydro just announced they do not expect to have surplus power, including power from the yet-to-be finished site C dam by 2030. That means they’ll be cutting off California just in time for the ICE ban.

9A8E42C0-E850-4F2E-BB9B-96746AE1E957.png
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
346
Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Charging "off-peak" vs peak. Wouldn't that make the off peak the peak and vice versa???

Wind, IMHO is the biggest rip off in the world. No wind turbine ever produced has broken even with the energy it used to create it. At end of life, it can't be recycled. It has to be buried.

This Co2 and Nox has been blown out of proportion with the green nut politicians and a 16 year old spoiled brat that said nuts agree with vs the foremost expert on weather.

"We're going to be l8ving under water, caps are melting, gl9bal warming......oh wait, we screwed up....climate change" HAS RESULTED IN NOTHING BUT HIGHER TAXES, HIGHER ENERGY COSTS, MORE CASH FOR THE ELITES....PERIOD.

FUN FACT 1: The word fossil fuel was coined by Jacob D Rothschild. Why?? To create the idea of scarcity. "Fossiel fuel" actually created by volcanic activity. That **** is created at higher rates than it can be pulled out of the ground.

FUN FACT 2: Materials to create batteries are actually finite. Lithium, cobalt, rate earth magnets, etc. It takes 500,000 lbs of earth to be dug up to create 1 battery. With finite materials they create scarcity, they make more cash.

FUN FACT 3: USA does not have said elements to be self sustainable. Where are the majority of these??? Russia, China, Kabul.

FUN FACT 4: It is estimated that those "burps" from Mt Etna has created 10-70k more pollution than humanity ever produced. We still here.

FUN FACT 5: Why do growers of anything in large greenhouses have CO2 generators???? Plants live off that ****. Carbon IS THE ONLY ELEMENT on the periodic table with a 100 percent life cycle.

IMHO, want to help the environment??? Fill planes full of weed, drop it everywhere. We can make clothes, bio fuels, bags, **** near everything out of it. Never mind the fact that it absorbs pollution like nobody's business. This is coming from a person that never touched it.

I do not think that anything we do can make one iota of difference.

I'll listen to activists, scientists, politicians caring about this when they stop flying around the world talking about it. When they stop burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying to Davos to listen to Schwab.

Also when these "we're going to live underwater" people like Kerry and Obama stop buying beach front properties.

Rant over.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,089
Location
Kansas
Pump water uphill and run it through a turbine later.

Make freezers smarter and have them go extra cold when there's a surplus, and coast when there's high demand. Digital Equipment Computers did this in the 1970s-- running refrigeration overnight with a special deal from the PoCo.

Do the same with electric car charging. Heck, make smartphones and laptop computers charge in off-peak.

Won't solve everything, but will help a little.
That's the can do attitude I like to see. I remember washing clothes at night in off peak times. Calling collect was cheaper at night too. We used to go to the basement in Wichita during hot summer days as it was cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I keep like thirty igloo ice packs in the freezer so that if the juice goes out it will stay cold.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,089
Location
Kansas
Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Charging "off-peak" vs peak. Wouldn't that make the off peak the peak and vice versa???

Wind, IMHO is the biggest rip off in the world. No wind turbine ever produced has broken even with the energy it used to create it. At end of life, it can't be recycled. It has to be buried.

This Co2 and Nox has been blown out of proportion with the green nut politicians and a 16 year old spoiled brat that said nuts agree with vs the foremost expert on weather.

"We're going to be l8ving under water, caps are melting, gl9bal warming......oh wait, we screwed up....climate change" HAS RESULTED IN NOTHING BUT HIGHER TAXES, HIGHER ENERGY COSTS, MORE CASH FOR THE ELITES....PERIOD.

FUN FACT 1: The word fossil fuel was coined by Jacob D Rothschild. Why?? To create the idea of scarcity. "Fossiel fuel" actually created by volcanic activity. That **** is created at higher rates than it can be pulled out of the ground.

FUN FACT 2: Materials to create batteries are actually finite. Lithium, cobalt, rate earth magnets, etc. It takes 500,000 lbs of earth to be dug up to create 1 battery. With finite materials they create scarcity, they make more cash.

FUN FACT 3: USA does not have said elements to be self sustainable. Where are the majority of these??? Russia, China, Kabul.

FUN FACT 4: It is estimated that those "burps" from Mt Etna has created 10-70k more pollution than humanity ever produced. We still here.

FUN FACT 5: Why do growers of anything in large greenhouses have CO2 generators???? Plants live off that ****. Carbon IS THE ONLY ELEMENT on the periodic table with a 100 percent life cycle.

IMHO, want to help the environment??? Fill planes full of weed, drop it everywhere. We can make clothes, bio fuels, bags, **** near everything out of it. Never mind the fact that it absorbs pollution like nobody's business. This is coming from a person that never touched it.

I do not think that anything we do can make one iota of difference.

I'll listen to activists, scientists, politicians caring about this when they stop flying around the world talking about it. When they stop burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel flying to Davos to listen to Schwab.

Also when these "we're going to live underwater" people like Kerry and Obama stop buying beach front properties.

Rant over.
Know where those turbines get disposed at? My teenage summer stomping ground outside Casper, Wyoming. Followed my dad going to oil rigs all summer long. Your right about so much.
 
Top