More climate idiocy from California

Source: US Department of Energy

If the looming spectre of rising electricity prices due to CARB’s upcoming “cap and trade” isn’t enough, now the Department of Water resources has opted to be less efficient by giving low cost electricity the boot. Somebody else will buy it, so there’s no net savings other than banking “feel good” capital.

From the green section of the Chico News and Review:

Coal-fired plant gets the boot

Department of Water Resources will not renew lease with Nevada plant

This article was published on 06.21.12.

California’s Department of Water Resources will not renew a lease with the coal-burning Reid Gardner Power Station in Moapa Valley, Nev., as part of a recently released climate action plan.

The department aims to cut carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and the Reid Gardner plant, which has served the State Water Project (the water system that diverts water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta), accounts for one-fourth of DWR’s total emissions, according to The Sacramento Bee. Water Resources will purchase more energy from renewable energy sources, the California Independent System Operator and Lodi Energy Center, a natural gas plant beginning operations this summer.

Reid Gardner had accounted for about 10 to 15 percent of DWR’s energy for the past 30 years. The contract with the company expires in 2013.

120 thoughts on “More climate idiocy from California

  1. Panic stricken carbon strangulation policies will be the ruin of the economy unless the politicians wake up (soon) to the reality that CO2 never was the Great Boogeyman it has been made out to be.

    There’s been trivial (if any) global temperature increase for over a decade now…

    http://tinyurl.com/7zwa2ne

  2. Mr. Watt, Will this force you to leave California if they keep it up? I can’t imagine being able to afford electric bill..

  3. Do Californians have some sort of death wish? Or are they sensible people who are being held hostage by a cadre of environmental radicals?

  4. This is what I pay in England
    first 219 kWh units used at 26.63p each = 41 $US cent
    next XYZ kWh units used at 11.22p each =17.4 $US cent

  5. I think it’s a little premature to assume this will increase their cost for electricity and I can actually see some benefit to California from this.

    Water Resources will purchase more energy from renewable energy sources, the California Independent System Operator and Lodi Energy Center, a natural gas plant beginning operations this summer.

    I’m betting that most of that “more energy” will be coming from Lodi. I believe the natural gas is going to remain cheap for a good long time (thank you fracking). In addition, you’ve now got a large energy consumer in California, switching their power source from a plant in Nevada to a plant inside California. Keeps the money in state.

  6. kakatoa says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    The answer is desal. But, the reality is, the coastal communities will have to force Sacto to build the power generation required. The CA Energy Commission and Coastal Commission will have to be put on a leash (better to abolish them).

    rabbit says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The elites want a private playground. They think they can keep people away from their exclusive areas. They created the CA Coastal Commission to allow special people to live near the beach without the annoying masses (like us) nearby.

  7. As residential users, in Northern California we are paying $.34 per kWh at the margin. Essentially they sell you the first package of kWh hours at $.13 (called the baseline), but it is usually just enough power to make a couple of pieces of toast. The PUC/PGE cabal then gets to claim an average rate of $.19.

    However, most households use way beyond the baseline. I can’t even begin to imagine a family of four who can live within the “baseline”.

    In our house (no air conditioning, mostly CFL lighting, gas appliances) essentially our monthly bill is $400 just for electricity.

    Given the national average of $.11, it’s just a scam to enrich PG&E, and help make the bogus case for residential solar installs. California is going to fail, it is doing everything to drive residents and businesses out of the state.

  8. About as logical as stuffing toothpaste back into its tube with a toothpick because they share the word ‘tooth’. Meanwhile Californians with drive hither and thither in their tens of millions in their cars between ariconditioned/heated homes and airconditioned/heated workplaces and generally gobble up the brainless bling of modern consumer society as they upsize their lives to obese pointlessness. Shhh, dont mention the banality of it all. Its the economy stupid, i.e. its a stupid, uneconomic economy. Just because AGW is largely bulldust and this sort of moronic policy probably counterproductive rather than just pointless does not mean there are no good reasons to reconsider bad habits.

  9. What is absolutely the most idiotic thing about these measures is that they are extremely expensive and will have no impact whatsoever on the environment. The amount of CO2 emissions removed from the atmosphere is such an absolutely miniscule amount that it is not only negligible, it is completely immeasurable. They will make absolutely no difference whatsoever. In fact, the Moapa decision will likely have NO impact at all, not even theoretically because it will still be there producing power, it will just mean cheaper power for people in Nevada.

    What this IS going to do is move the tech industry out of California. Silicon Valley is going to end up looking like portions of the central valley after the irrigation water was shut off. They are killing their own golden goose. These people are so absolutely dumb yet believe they are the smart ones. Just insane.

  10. California was recently voted worst state to do business in by a survey of executives. The state is stupid all over, not just when it comes to energy production. They are determined to become environmental heroes, even if that means further bankrupting an already bankrupt state. Problem is, they don’t know how to go about reducing carbon emissions, assuming there is some benefit from doing so. Two easy ways : build nuclear plants, or natural gas plants. Natural gas plants produce about half the carbon emissions of a coal plant and nowadays are relatively cheap.
    Nuclear plants are the cheapest – their operating costs dropped below coal in 1999 and are now about 33% cheaper than coal. uranium fuel costs run around half a cent per kilowatthour, total operating costs around 3 cents. Natural gas is somewhere around 5 cents I believe. There are currently 465 nuclear plants either currently being built, in the planning/siting stages or being planned for the future. China, India, Russia, and Britain have the largest number. With all those plants at Gen3+ or Gen 4 technology, fears of accidents can be laid to rest. California has rather stupidly believed their own propaganda concerning the cost of solar and wind – they produce simple minded analyses that disregard the high costs that must be borne by introducing an uncontrollable power source into the grid – regardless of how much wind and solar they generate, not one single controllable power plant can be shuttered. One may save on fuel costs, but often the larger cost of operating a plant (mortgage, maintenance, staffing, etc.) will be the same as it was when it was producing at full power, rather than simply being on line (and idling, consuming fuel) waiting for the uncontrollable power to sudddenly disappear – the wind dies down or goes away, clouds or storms shut off solar power (or darkness) . Britain recently determined that the
    overall cost of wind was double what the wind proponents originally claimed it would be. It’s good to see California steering its population into a collision with reality. Gov Brown is just the dope to do just that, as he has proved in the past.

  11. If idocy drives everyone out of the state, who will pay the salaries of the rulers.
    Sorry to be the wet blanket.

  12. For those expecting a continuation of cheap natural gas I believe you are going to be disappointed. From reading quite a bit about the largest player in the industry, Chesapeake, I’ve learned that natural gas in the U.S. is currently the only commodity in the world that sells below its cost of production. That cost is above $6.00 mcf for the lowest cost producers and $7-8 is not uncommon. There is currently a large over-supply for several reasons, but one of the biggest is that producers signed contracts back when natural gas was $12 mcf that required drilling to maintain the lease rights. Drilling activity has switched to liquids (oil). In Europe and Asia prices are at $10 mcf and the possibility of LNG exports is becoming more realistic. Expect substantially higher natural gas prices 3-5 years out, perhaps sooner. Oh, I need to add that with fracking you get 60-70% of the well’s production in the first year, much higher than conventional wells and another reason for the current over-supply.

  13. There’s nothing wrong with California that can’t be fixed by moving the State government 1200 miles West.

  14. vukcevic says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm
    This is what I pay in England
    first 219 kWh units used at 26.63p each = 41 $US cent
    next XYZ kWh units used at 11.22p each =17.4 $US cent

    $0.41 per KWh equivalent?!? Ye gods and little fishes!!! I’d be looking to throw someone a blanket party for that!!

  15. Here Australia, (A$ = US$ at the moment), our rates have just gone up 18.8% as of 1 July. New rates are approx 35 c / kW-hr at the Winter rate, and go to over 40 c / kW-hr at the peak summer rate.

    Our rates also increase as you use more.

  16. The beauty of that curve is that it gives businesses plenty of time to migrate out of the state. The net impact to national GDP will be small but to the state it will be devastating. I have to admit to some schadenfreude at seeing the greatest of all blue states slitting its own throat. Now if we could just fix the financial industry propping up New York that would do wonders for knocking out the other side of the coalition.

  17. PPL in Pennsylvania is my electric company. Technically they distribute, they are not an electricity supplier, they don’t generate it.

    Two June bills, Residential rate, one is for 670kWh, other is 118kWh, priced at cents/kWh. Slight differences in rates, I’ll present them to the decimal place where they are the same. Taxes included.

    Distribution Charge: Customer Charge: $8.75 (flat fee)
    — 3.363 ¢/kWh
    — PA Tax Adj Surcharge at -0.34500000%

    Transmission Charge:
    — 0.74 ¢/kWh

    Generation Charge: Capacity and Energy:
    — 6.4 ¢/kWh
    — PA Tax Adj Surcharge at -0.28400000%

    (1-0.00345)*3.363
    +0.74
    +(1-0.00284)*6.4
    = 10.473 ¢/kWh effective rate which includes taxes

    Call it 10.5 or 10. ¢/kWh, however you want to nitpick the significant digits.

    PA lets you designate your electricity supplier, feel free to pay some more and believe all your electricity originates from a Green renewable solar farm in Arizona. I haven’t picked one so PPL buys the electricity for me. Price can change every three months. Amazingly enough, PPL’s volume buying yields low prices so not choosing is consistently cheapest, and without any contracts or the restrictive terms that suppliers are prone to insist on.

    The “price to compare” (presumably w/o taxes) when selecting suppliers, what PPL is charging, for Residential:
    3/1/2012-5/31/2012 6.935 ¢/kWh
    6/1/2012-8/31/2012 7.993 ¢/kWh
    Up a penny just in time for air conditioner season.

    So, what are you really paying?

  18. We pay between 7 and 8 cents /kwhr here in NW Arkansas and it comes from a coal fired plant.

  19. I predict that in just a few short years, the rest of the country will be inviting Mexico to “Just take California back”. I also predict Mexico’s response will be, “Only if you keep the Californians.” The typical Californian appears to think a revenue bond is “free money”. The only thing keeping me here is the weather (and I’m starting to think I may no longer be able to justify the ever steepening price to be paid for lunatic public policy).

  20. Since even going 100% natural gas won’t get them to the 80% reduction, how many KWh do they need in renewables to meet their goal? Is there that much renewable energy available in California?

  21. They have to kill California to save it. And they won’t save it…

    There will be a net increase in CO2 emissions as a result. The Reid-Gardner Plant won’t stop producing electricity and will simply sell it to someone else. Any new natural gas plant in California will be additional emissions above that. Natural gas is mostly CH4 and other hydrocarbons. All they are doing is fiddling with accounting, not reducing CO2.

    If they are willing to buy the expensive electricity and let us have the cheap stuff, who am I to stop them?

  22. No wonder the graph looks like a hockey stick. Calif has gotten itself into a real positive feedback loop, with everything working to accelerate costs. On one side they require lower consumption, which automatically raises the break-even cost of every KWH and cuts investment. On the other side they remove generators, which makes more conservation critically necessary, thus raising the break-even cost…. and on and on.

    Nature doesn’t have tipping points, but murderous Gaia-poisoned humans will go critical every time.

  23. John G
    In Victoria, southern Australia, our electrical prices have just gone up because of the new carbon tax, new rate first 1000 kWh $.21.3598, next 4000 kWh $.22.0968, balance $.22.4048 with a daily supply charge of $.66. It’s about a 2c plus a little bit more increase from what they were charging. This in a place where they once boasted about having some of the cheepest electricity in the world. Come on the next election so we can get rid of the current Federal Government.

  24. My new bill for last month just came and it was at $.0852/KWh. Add a $5.90 monthly customer base charge and $8.50 in taxes and fees for a total bill of just over $97 for the month. Don’t forget I live in SW Florida where day time highs are in the 90’s and we use a/c when home. Not too shabby I would say. Did I mention there is no State income tax in Florida?

  25. They are working small SOFC fuels cells. As long as cheap shale gas exists, soon the technology might allow some people to bypass the utilities completely for less money.

  26. Welcome to Dystopia. The future is going to become dark, poor and violent thanks to the legacy of the green cult.

  27. rabbit says:
    June 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Do Californians have some sort of death wish? Or are they sensible people who are being held hostage by a cadre of environmental radicals?

    Interesting questions, and as an import to CA (1986) I have had many an occasion to ponder. In fact just Tuesday a couple of lawyers and I were slapsticking the AB 904 “hockey puck” around by email. It started off with this:

    “Fw: Roundtable Discussion on AB 904 = Tuesday, June 26 (4pm)

    FYI. More AB 32 initiatives. Forget this incrementalism, just making it harder to find parking spaces. Why not get to the point and legislate that we can’t own more than one car? How about no cars and mandate use of public transportation or bikes or walking (and must live no farther than X miles from work)? Coming next! To reduce VMT and save the world! California can do it. Yes we can!

    Amazing. It will do wonders for the economy, don’t you think? Can’t park, can’t drive….can’t shop… And with the density they want, no personal vegetable gardens either.

    Some may not appreciate my response but consider the reason within:

    “RE: Roundtable Discussion on AB 904 = Tuesday, June 26 (4pm)

    This is what comes to mind these days on AB 32/904:

    HAL: ‘Just a moment…….. Just a moment…….. I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit. It will go 100 percent failure within 72 hours.’ states the HAL 9000 computer in 2001 A Space Odyssey.

    We had the chance with Prop. 23 to essentially neuter AB 32 and it went down in flames. From that moment on I turned on AB 32. California’s “AE-35” unit are its people, and we picked up the imminent fault with our people with Prop. 23.

    Back to the script:

    HAL: Yes, it’s puzzling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this before.
    HAL: I would recommend that we put the unit back in operation and let it fail.

    I say Ditto.”

    To which the other lawyer responded:

    “The best way to get rid of a stupid/idiotic/imbecilic law is to enforce the hell out of it…….”

    P.S. And pardons to all, especially REP for my slip-up last night on another thread here. I had two browsers up, one on WUWT the other on another WordPress site. Not sure how I switched between them but the post here was meant for there.

    [REPLY: Da Nada. Things happen and moderators gotta do what moderators gotta do. -REP]

  28. I am beginning to think that the big quake that’s overdue in California is actually going to be a blessing as it will gravel the state into smaller manageable bits populated by survivors that will shoot anyone on sight who gets in the way of their recovery.

  29. The California environmental lobby – among others – is working very hard to see that the San Onofre nuclear reactors are not turned on again. Current plans are to restart no earlier than August. If this turns out to be a hot summer, we could see the dreaded rolling blackouts.

  30. The productive are fast approaching a point of no return. That is when the physical strength of society has been sapped to such an extent that a generation finally is born that glorifies in production of inactivity and the rest of humanity simply cannot afford it; and, that’s when the Greece hits the Spain and California’s sour grape economics push Blue Cities into bankruptcy.

    http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/when-a-free-man-cant-be-trusted/

  31. Even though global macroeconomics hint increasingly at deflation, CA, always against the grain, is trying its level best (worst?) to incite regional stagflation!

  32. I wish my average cost per KwH were 15c per KwH, here in CA. Unfortunately, I have kids that leave the massive number of lights on in our home.

    I’m going to spend roughly $4,000 to go to LED lights for this reason alone. I’ll make it up within a few years.

  33. jdgalt says:
    June 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    “The only thing they forgot was to change the state’s name to Zimbabwe.”

    I like that… “Zimbabwefornia.”

  34. PGE the northern california utility petitioned the PUC (state public utility commission)
    to lower rates but the PUC refused.

  35. “Californians are like granola, what aren’t fruits or nuts are flakes” – Charlotte Observer, travel section, sometime in a late 90’s visit to my hometown.

  36. Given that AB 1368 sponsored by Don Perata (one of the biggest crooks ever in CA politics) was passed in 2006, it is illegal to use coal in CA because it puts out more than 1100 lbs of CO2 per MWH. A new contract can’t be signed and an extension probably falls under CEC rules that would likely prohibit the extension of the contract.

    For CA taxpayers (not the NV power plant and coal producers), this is probably a good thing because it is likely to lower the DWR power costs. Natural gas is displacing coal in the generation of electricity across the country because gas generation has become much cheaper than coal. Natural gas would have to go from $2.50/mmBTU to $5/mmBTU for coal to become a more competitive option. As someone mentioned, this isn’t likely to last “forever” but appears likely for the next 10 years given the foward gas curve.

    For those that don’t know what the DWR does, it is the CA State agency that pumps Northern CA water to irrigate crops in the Central Valley and to pump the water over the mountains into the LA Basin. The electricity isn’t sold to customers, but is only used to pump water. For DWR to generate electricity is about 3 times cheaper than buying power from CA’s Enron (aka PG&E).

    To get an idea what the LEC gas plant costs to generate electricity requires knowing that it is one of the most efficient plants in the world. It’s heat rate is 6.8 mmBTU/MWH. At $2.50/mmBTU natural gas, it will cost $17 plus $5 O&M to generate 1 MWH. Adding about $20 for capital costs, the total costs are about $43/MWH ($0.043 cents /kWh). Even coal plants that are fully amortized can barely touch this cost. Add the costs for Mercury and Sulphur abatement, coal becomes even more uneconomic. Financially, this is not at bad deal for CA taxpayers! At $5/mmBTU natural gas in 10 years, the total cost is $59/mmBTU ($0.059 cents/kWh); still much cheaper than PG&E.

    While I agree with most of the commenter’s here about CO2 not being a problem, it is the low cost of natural gas that is driving this decision, not CO2 regulations directly.

    As an aside, this Green Party writer thinks the global warming scam is one of the biggest head fakes in history. It’s purpose is to divert all activist’s energy into opposing global warming and not in organizing to bring down the 1% and bring back wage equity among people.

  37. A recent price note: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/13/abengoa-to-build-200-mw-imperial-valley-solar-pv-farm/

    If the figures are accurate, the price works out to about $0.03/kwh. In the Imperial Valley there are about 350 sunny days per year, so the price may be a little closer to $0.02/kwh. In the Imperial Valley, a major use of electricity is to move the water for irrigation, and that is mostly done during day time.

    During the next 20 years, the price of electricity from PV panels will most likely continue to decline, but the price of electricity from other sources will most likely not decline.

    That’s only one news report from a group of solar power enthusiasts, but there are many sources documenting the decline of the cost of electricity from PV panels. It is a story worth following.

  38. Check this out: http://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/13/abengoa-to-build-200-mw-imperial-valley-solar-pv-farm/

    If the figures are correct, the cost of the electricity is approximately $0.03/kwh. In the Imperial Valley there are about 350 sunny days per year, and a major use of electricity is to pump water for irrigation. Statewide, one of the major uses of electricity is to pump water for irrigation, and the need for that is confined almost entirely to the daytime. Costs of electricity from solar power continue to decline, so this story is worth following. Probably, solar power for pumping water is probably close to optimal for California.

  39. ursus augustus says:
    June 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    “Meanwhile Californians with drive hither and thither in their tens of millions in their cars between ariconditioned/heated homes and airconditioned/heated workplaces and generally gobble up the brainless bling of modern consumer society as they upsize their lives to obese pointlessness. Shhh, dont mention the banality of it all. Its the economy stupid, i.e. its a stupid, uneconomic economy.”

    What is your suggestion? A smart centrally planned economy? Good luck. Don’t you think it should be left to each one of those millions who you deride as brainless how he/she will manage his/her own resources?

    What outcome will be better? One brain of the smart central technocratic planner, probably called “Ursus Augustus”, or the millions of brains of the people you deride? Wanna bet?

    Why do you think all people except you are stupid? Have you seen a reality show on TV and confused it with reality? I have news for you. Real people might not all be Einsteins but gimme five of them and we’ll outperform any central planner.

  40. A classic case is California, where commercial electrical rates are already 50% higher than in any other state in the Union. Because of recently enacted state legislation and the upcoming “California Global Warming Solutions Act”, it’s estimated that an additional hike in energy prices of between 19% to 74%, dependent on your location in California, will occur in the next decade.

    Companies have been relocating, in whole or in part, out of California. It’s a bit like the California gold rush of 1849, but in reverse; everyone is getting the hell out of the place. In the first quarter of last year alone, one business relocater counted 70 of these “disinvestment events”, as they’re euphemistically called, and that in a state with a 10.9% unemployment rate and some very severe budgetary problems.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/the-sun-is-setting-on-solar-power-the-moneys-gone-and-nobodys-asking-any-questions/

    Pointman

  41. Kent Beuchert says

    You forgot France. The biggest nuclear user in Europe, if not the world. 82.5% of our electricity is from nuclear. The greenie beenies have banned the extraction of gas by fracking so diesel and petrol along lwith heating fuel are all the most expensive. In all fairness though, the UK has the most stupid political elite and the highest carburant taxes along with expensive diesel. That’s because that halfwit Brown (I will save the world if you let me) introduced an immediate 6% rise in diesel tax with a 3% rise in petrol tax with an automatic inflator every year of inflation plus %.

  42. Electricity prices in SW France

    8.17c = 10.21 c $ plus
    0.0045 € contribution to the publis electricity service ???

    Plus V.A.T of 19.6%

    Total 16.99c /Kwh

    There are different rates for summer and winter and for night and day;

  43. Here in the Canadian equivalent of California, British Columbia, current electricity rates are $0.068/KwH for the first 1376 KwH and then $0.10190 for any power consumption more than that. Of course there are various fees and taxes added to this but power is still fairly cheap in comparison to rates other people have posted. (prices in Canadian dollars).

    The province of BC is run by moonbats who have decreed that no nuclear power plants will be built in this province and that no more hydroelectric dams will be built. Instead, we’re supposed to use “renewable” sources for electric power. That means that electricity prices will climb steadily and I’m looking into getting a natural gas powered generator to produce my own power.

    I’ve never understood why hydroelectric power is not considered “sustainable” whereas bird blenders which destroy pristine wilderness are considered to be “sustainable”. The provincial electricity distributor, BC Hydro, has been sending out survey’s to people asking them about how they’re conserving power. They likely didn’t like my answers as I had 11 computers on my home network when I last counted and they are only turned off for annual fan cleanings (the PC’s, not the ARM based fanless machines). From what I’ve seen of the BC Hydro mailings, they seem to want BC residents to sit in darkness with lights being turned on and appliances being used only if absolutely necessary. Thus far I’ve avoided having a “smart meter” installed on my house by putting up a notice that I would consider any attempt to install a surveillance device on my property as criminal trespass. I’m sure I will hear from them at some future date about this issue but unfortunately we don’t have the 5th Amendment to the constitution as a legal basis for disputing installation of “smart meters” in Canada.

    One of the reasons BC Hydro gave for installing “smart meters” in BC was to prevent theft of power utilized in producing BC’s largest agricultural crop; cannabis grown indoors. The old meters allowed one to obtain instantaneous information about ones power consumption – a feature that the new “smart meters” don’t have.

    Here in the previously arid environment of Kamloops, the local city moonbats have been seduced by the false predictions of AGW and, against the wishes of the population, mandated that every house have a water meter installed. This was because the predictions of the AGW models are that the interior of BC will be far warmer and rainfall will diminish. This spring was the wettest one that I’ve ever seen in Kamloops and the local rivers are threatening to exceed the flood level of the last major flood in 1948. The snowpack upriver is at record highs and, if it does warm up as expected, we’ll be in for a dose of Gaia’s unique sense of humor. Whenever I look at the steadily rising river from the 7th floor hospital window, I just think of all of the potential energy that one could utilize with a simple dam on the Thompson river; now banned by the moonbats in Victoria. There’s a huge amount of potential irrigation water there all now running out to the Pacific being totally wasted in response to moonbat decrees. The long term weather forecast of what one can expect in a La Nina cycle on WUWT have been far more accurate than the AGW based climate models predicting far hotter and drier summers in this part of the world. Unfortunately it means I have to head out to the SE US for my holidays if I want to experience sunshine.

  44. Matthew R Marler says:

    June 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Matthew

    You need to look closer at PV output. It is as useless as wind mills. It varies too much, destabilizes the grid, is very inefficient ~~ 18 – 20%, needs a lot of land and a lot of maintenance. We need a new PV technology for it to be of any real use.

  45. The department aims to cut carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and the Reid Gardner plant, which has served the State Water Project (the water system that diverts water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta), accounts for one-fourth of DWR’s total emissions, according to The Sacramento Bee.

    Lemme see if I got this: Reid Gardner burns coal and produces electricity and emissions, so — somehow, probably by magic — the DWR’s purchase of RG electricity means that it was DWR that actually produced the emissions.

    That’s like saying that, if I ate a double-pepperoni pizza while reading the post, Anthony is the one who’ll get the heartburn.

  46. California, the unlocked insane asylum where the residents decide to stay because the food is good and there’s a nice view from their cell window. Plus smoking is encouraged, for medicinal purposes only.

    On the off chance there’s a general return to sanity and reason, could the last person to leave California please disconnect the LED night light from the solar panel?

  47. I ran into some of the consequences last power bill. They started sending me “Smart Meter” nag notices. They figured out I cook dinner at dinner time and we watch TV after work is done… Go figure…

    So I’ve deprecated my All Electric Kitchen pending replacement with a gas stove. I’m setting up an outdoor kitchen in the interim:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/camping-at-home-is-cheaper/

    Turns out using propane out doors is cheaper… The BBQ makes a lot more air pollution, and I’m using more fossil fuels, but hey, anything to “save the planet” via lower electricity consumption, right?

    Especially as the future tariff requests are for $1/2 per kW-hr rates… By then it will be cheaper to run my Diesel car and put the generator output into a battery bank to run the ‘baseline’ house needs. But hey, having the Diesel idle in the driveway is a small price to pay to “save the planet” via less electricity consumption…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/strange-how-economics-works/

    And yes, we’re actively planning an exit… Just one more year and the last kid is done with college…

  48. @Ed Barbar:

    Lowes has a decent LED bulb for $10 (for the ’60 Watt’ equivalent) and $20 for the ‘100 Watt’ equivalent or for the one that works well in table lamps (has a more ‘all around’ light output).

    I’ve tried more different kinds of bulbs than I care to admit, and these are pretty good ones. Just look for the cheapest ones on the shelf. They come in two ‘color temperatures’ so unless you are fond of 5000K blue, get the one with the yellow inner paper ring on the packaging.

    As $4000 would buy 400 of them, I have to think they are cheaper than what you are looking at…

    Also, FWIW, most CFL bulbs are about as efficient overall as LEDs. Close enough that you can put CFLs in many of the outlets and not notice. While I like LEDs better (no mercury and instant on and dimmable), it is possible to use the CFLs too and get most of the benefit.

  49. I have had the argument put to me by more than 1 physicist that the history of the advance of humanity it driven by the ready availability of cheap energy. e.g.
    Caveman – hands (< 1horse power) wood fire
    ox
    horse
    steam engine/coal

    nuclear
    The argument is that we advance in quantum leaps as a society when the energy source of the day is abundant and cheap.
    So is this a first for human history where we go backwards?

  50. When all of the aircraft companies declare that they are shutting their plants and moving to Texas, maybe the citizens will decide to burn Commissar Mary N and her fellow travellers at the stake.

  51. Re:Matthew R Marler says:
    June 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    “If the figures are accurate, the price works out to about $0.03/kwh. In the Imperial Valley there are about 350 sunny days per year, so the price may be a little closer to $0.02/kwh. In the Imperial Valley, a major use of electricity is to move the water for irrigation, and that is mostly done during day time.”

    Those numbers are utterly preposterous, as anyone with a calculator and an amortization table can demonstrate. The levelized capital component alone of a solar plant over 20 years exceeds those numbers by many orders of magnitude. When running that calculation, be aware that capacity factor in the sunniest of climes (think Death Valley) for photovoltaic solar is no better than 25% and that well under half the cost of such a plant resides in the solar cells themselves.

    But you don’t even have to go that far to discover the truth. Just look to the European experience. There, rather than hide the true cost of solar through “front-end” subsidies such as investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation, they pay the actual cost in required revenue “at the fence”. When Spain unilaterally dropped their payments to solar plants to 40-cents (U.S.) per Kwh, many of those plants fell into bankruptcy because they could not support their bank financing payments.

    In the U.S., the quoted wholesale price for our current mix of sources at the Palo Verde trading hub this morning for firm on-peak power was 2.8-cents per Kwh. The remainder of your residential utility bill today will cover transmission and utility fixed costs that continue on regardless of the power source. Assume your current residential rate is 10-cents per Kwh. In that great day when we are “all solar” you bill would be 47.2-cents per Kwh (using the Spanish “starve the plant operator” rate) and that figure does not include the cost of conventional backup power you would need if you expect the lights to come on “when the sun don’t shine).

    Solar is an economic DOG that knows no peer.

  52. Todays price of gas is $2.00 per MMbtu (Henry Hubb)
    MBTU is occasionally expressed as MMBTU, which is intended to represent a thousand thousand BTUs (1 Million BTU’s).
    1 kiloWattHour(KwH) = 3412 Btu.
    So the fuel cost per KwH is ($2/10^ 6Btu)*3412 = 0.68 cents (Yes, less than one cent)
    That’s why it’s necessary to charge 20 to 40 cents per KwH.

  53. So just what the hell is it that the dwr dummies don’t know the difference between water, (H2O), and electricity ( – e > + ). They shood get back to dousing for H2O, and leave the – e > + to the adults.

  54. I just lost a whole hour’s work to this stupid editor; can’t even figure out which accidental key push wipes everything out; BUT !!!

    FWIRW, CFLs aren’t anywhere close to being as efficient as LEDs, and never can or will be.

    The short version for you to put your own flesh on, now mine went byebye.

    With cfls, you get 100% of the flux has Stokes losses; not as much with LEDs, and someleds can be zero Stokes loss. cfls are 4pi sources; leds are 2pi, so cfls are optically stupid.

    Try getting 150 lumens per Watt, out of cfls.

    Lowes led bulbs are poor compared to what Home Depot has, and pretty much all communist red chinese too.

    I’ve been 100% LED lit for more than a year now. I have a 48 Watt “garage” light (replace a 2 foot fluor tube), that puts out 6,000 lumens @ 4,000 K color.

    CFLs are likely to get banned before incandescents are even cold in their grave, and then who’s gonna clean up all that mercury.

    Sorry you can’t get the G-light; we built it ourselves.

  55. I’m no lawyer, but it looks to me like some enterprising attorney might make some money on challenging the California rates based on usage with no attention given to location. For instance, if one lived in Bakersfield, the hot weather there would drive costs up significantly vs. if one lives in say, San Francisco, where air conditioning is rarely needed(or so I’ve heard, I’ve only been there once, and froze my butt off in June). Why should a person be punished for living in Bakerfield? Just a thought, any lawyers here?

  56. I read some comments the state the idiocy of those who are in power and that we elected them so ….. A big part of the problem is that only idiots are willing to jump into that snake pit … idiots with huge egos, narcissistic tendencies and more money than they deserve. Or they come from the looney left and are supported by the evil marionette masters of he Global Feudal System effort … you know …. a return to fiscal (and now Eco) slavery for the masses and paradise for those who rule.

    If you happen to have one …. do not get rid of your gun …. you very likely will need it at some point in the not too distant future. Just sayin’.

  57. Energy increases are a regressive TAX on the poor. But … not a peep from leftists about their economic sabotage of the working poor and working middle class

  58. If I wrote what I really think of the people who run California, you’d have to delete all the foul language. So I’ll just say that California is being run by the biggest bunch of Bozos I have ever seen. This makes me wonder:

    Is there intelligent life in Sacramento ????

  59. Is there intelligent life in Sacramento ????

    None. California is in the dumper. I’m trying to figure where to escape to….any suggestions re low taxes, low energy costs, fewer meddling progs?

  60. Somebody else will buy it, so there’s no net savings other than banking “feel good” capital.

    I think the simple goal here is to make water more expensive so we use less of it.

    For some reason, water use has been getting more and more attention, not sure if its because it requires energy to move it, because we have an “unfair” amount of water here in the USA, or because they want us to conserve water (by putting a price on it) and then ship some of our water overseas in those Spragg bags…

  61. Nippy says:
    June 22, 2012 at 5:50 am
    Todays price of gas is $2.00 per MMbtu (Henry Hubb)
    MBTU is occasionally expressed as MMBTU, which is intended to represent a thousand thousand BTUs (1 Million BTU’s).
    1 kiloWattHour(KwH) = 3412 Btu.
    So the fuel cost per KwH is ($2/10^ 6Btu)*3412 = 0.68 cents (Yes, less than one cent)
    That’s why it’s necessary to charge 20 to 40 cents per KwH.

    Conversion efficiency. At best, only 45% of the heat value is converted to electricity. Now you’re up to $0.0151.

    Transmission efficiency. Approximately 50% of the power is dissipated in the transmission lines. Now you’re up to $0.0302.

    Cost of capital. A rule of thumb is that each KWh of capacity costs $1 to install. With interest costs I believe you’re around $0.05 per KWh over the life of the plant. Now you’re up to $0.0802 per KWh and we haven’t included any non-fuel operating costs.

    Not being in the power industry myself, I’m sure there are other costs I haven’t even thought of.

    Now, $0.20 – $0.40 is a little over the top, but $0.0068 is just not realistic.

  62. Re: D. J. Hawkins says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “Conversion efficiency. At best, only 45% of the heat value is converted to electricity. Now you’re up to $0.0151.”

    In fact, the current breed of CCGT plants run approximately 60% thermal efficiency. (General Electric)

    “Transmission efficiency. Approximately 50% of the power is dissipated in the transmission lines. Now you’re up to $0.0302.”

    In fact, overall transmission efficiency in the U.S. ranges between 93% and 94%. Certain high voltage links can run 98% efficiency. (Wikipedia)

    “Cost of capital. A rule of thumb is that each KWh of capacity costs $1 to install. With interest costs I believe you’re around $0.05 per KWh over the life of the plant. Now you’re up to $0.0802 per KWh and we haven’t included any non-fuel operating costs.”

    First of all, capacity is measured in Kw; not Kwh. In fact, the capital component of the cheapest (overall) power source know to man, CCGT, runs about $600 per installed Kw of average useable output capacity. These plants also run capacity factors in the high 90% whereas solar is lucky get much north of 20%. (General Electric; Solar industry’s self-reported operating records)

    In addition to gagging on non-nonsensical calculations purporting to yield cost per Kwh results, it never fails to astound me how some folks will just pull numbers out of thin air to support their arguments.

  63. Water Resources: no more electricity from coal sourced in Nevada: Nevada will be using this surplus to service newly arrived businesses escaping from California.

  64. French nuke energy sells at 0.045 euro to the consumer. Which would be something like 0.05 cents. The greens hate that with a vengeance because they can’t slap Carbon tax on it. So now they want all nukes to be shut down so we also can pay upwards of 27 cents like the Germans or 45 cents like the Danish.

    They are seriously deranged.

  65. Claude Harvey: In addition to gagging on non-nonsensical calculations purporting to yield cost per Kwh results, it never fails to astound me how some folks will just pull numbers out of thin air to support their arguments.

    Take it up with the utilities, because they bill per kwh. When the cost of solar falls below what the utilities bill, more and more people will install solar.

    If the green graph at the top is accurate, lots of people will be better off 5 years from now, and thereafter, if they install rooftop PV panels now. To go for PV or not go for PV — it’s a calculated risk, since the future is not known. Where I live, most people will be money ahead soon if they install PV panels now. These calculations are site and use dependent.

  66. Stephen Richards: You need to look closer at PV output. It is as useless as wind mills. It varies too much, destabilizes the grid, is very inefficient ~~ 18 – 20%, needs a lot of land and a lot of maintenance.

    You need to look at the specifics of location and use. The site I posted is in the arid farming county of Imperial Valley, CA. They have 350 or so sunny days per year, and the major uses of electricity are pumping water and air conditioning, both of which are concentrated in the daytime.

    You also need to look at alternatives: if the figures are correct, that will be the cheapest electricity available in Imperial Valley. Everything needs maintenance — a 200 MW coal or gas power plant has a full time staff. My calculations to date have ignored the maintenance costs of PV, but as the costs go down and more panels are installed, it will be necessary to take those costs into account for a fair comparison. In the cost figures for new combined-cycle gas power plants (that I have seen), those maintenance costs are also omitted.

  67. Petrossa says:

    June 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    French nuke energy sells at 0.045 euro to the consumer. Which would be something like 0.05 cents. The greens hate that with a vengeance because they can’t slap Carbon tax on it. So now they want all nukes to be shut down so we also can pay upwards of 27 cents like the Germans or 45 cents like the Danish.

    I quoted the french figures further back. My figures were from my bill and from the beginning of 2011. Your figures are not correct. The greenie beenies have ask for the closure of up to 18 nuclear centrals but up to now Hollande has agree to one. Unfortunately for Hollande each closure costs an average of 500 jobs and his main political support comes from the ‘ouvriers ‘ many of whom work in the centrals of those ares where the cantrals are placed.

  68. Matthew R Marler says:

    June 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    That’s absolute rubbish. Money can be made from PV only through feed-in tarifs. It is useless for powering anything but the transistor radio. Feed-in tarifs are being reduced or eliminated all across europe.
    As I have said, a new PV technology will be needed before it can supplant any other form of power supply.

  69. Claude Harvey: In that great day when we are “all solar” you bill would be 47.2-cents per Kwh (using the Spanish “starve the plant operator” rate) and that figure does not include the cost of conventional backup power you would need if you expect the lights to come on “when the sun don’t shine).

    PV prices are falling. If you can get electricity in the day time during peak demand for $0.028/kwh then good for you. That is very rare in the US, not just in California.

  70. Matthew R Marler says:

    June 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm
    Unfortunately, most of the world and most of the power do not live in deserts. Where I live we have an average (and remember the problems with that) 2500 hrs of sun each year. I was preparing to install PV on my roof (184 m²) which would have cost €10.000 for the 3,2Kw. All the info I received from the experts said that I could not power the house in any way shape of form from the PV even if I covered the whole roof. €10.000 would power my house, including heating, for 5 years. By which time 5% of the panels would be useless, after 10 years 10%, after 20 years 20%.

  71. ZZMike says June 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    The California environmental lobby – among others – is working very hard to see that the San Onofre nuclear reactors are not turned on again. Current plans are to restart no earlier than August. If this turns out to be a hot summer, we could see the dreaded rolling blackouts.
    —————————————————————-
    ZZM: There are actual technical problems with the San Onofre plants. The heat exchangers in the boilers have tubes that are vibrating, rubbing, and wearing through. It’s an uncommon design that the manufacturer (Mitsubishi) and the plant owner are working to resolve. Typically, leaking tubes are plugged and the exchanger is put back into service, but there are too many bad ones in this situation. The NRC has weighed in on this:

    http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2012/06/20/nrc_3a00_-faulty-steam-generator-testing_2c00_-design-to-blame-for-songs-problems-062002.aspx

    The good news is the the Japanese are (finally!) starting to turn their nukes back on.

    http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2012/06/18/first-post_2d00_fukushima-reactor-restart-approved-in-japan-061802.aspx

  72. Speaking of ill winds, if/when the People’s Republic of California goes down the tubes, we can at least serve as a warning to the other states.

  73. Claude Harvey says: June 22, 2012 at 11:45 am
    In fact, overall transmission efficiency in the U.S. ranges between 93% and 94%. Certain high voltage links can run 98% efficiency. (Wikipedia)
    ——————————————————
    Another excellent reason to not use Wikipedia. The transmission lines tabulated by themselves may have this efficiency, but the lines have transformers. Each transformer adds 1% to 2% loss, and there are typically 3 or 4 transformers between the generating station and the end user.

    About a year ago I asked the Energy Information Agency (via email) what are typical transmission losses and got the response: “We don’t keep track of that”

  74. Kalifornia is actually following a cosmological pattern—of spinning off at an accelerating rate. Watch out because this will be labeled stimulus to pay for this motion some day.

  75. Claude Harvey says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:45 am
    Re: D. J. Hawkins says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “Conversion efficiency. At best, only 45% of the heat value is converted to electricity. Now you’re up to $0.0151.”

    In fact, the current breed of CCGT plants run approximately 60% thermal efficiency. (General Electric)

    “Transmission efficiency. Approximately 50% of the power is dissipated in the transmission lines. Now you’re up to $0.0302.”

    In fact, overall transmission efficiency in the U.S. ranges between 93% and 94%. Certain high voltage links can run 98% efficiency. (Wikipedia)

    “Cost of capital. A rule of thumb is that each KWh of capacity costs $1 to install. With interest costs I believe you’re around $0.05 per KWh over the life of the plant. Now you’re up to $0.0802 per KWh and we haven’t included any non-fuel operating costs.”

    First of all, capacity is measured in Kw; not Kwh. In fact, the capital component of the cheapest (overall) power source know to man, CCGT, runs about $600 per installed Kw of average useable output capacity. These plants also run capacity factors in the high 90% whereas solar is lucky get much north of 20%. (General Electric; Solar industry’s self-reported operating records)

    In addition to gagging on non-nonsensical calculations purporting to yield cost per Kwh results, it never fails to astound me how some folks will just pull numbers out of thin air to support their arguments.

    1. Your point is granted, but only for CCGT plants. Most electricity in the United States is generated by coal, for which my efficiency limit is correct. Nippy was asking about current costs, not what some future plant might deliver. It’ll be a long time a comin’, if ever, before the aggregate baseload efficiency of U.S. power generation gets anywhere near 60%.

    2. Regarding transmission efficiency, I must have gotten a bum answer years ago and never looked back. Just goes to show that it isn’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, but what you know that ain’t so that trips you up.

    3. Regarding capacity; really??? Technically you’re right, but a simply observation and eye-wink emoticon would have been sufficient, don’t you think? And that still puts your beloved CCGT plant at $0.60 per KW installed capacity. And, it’s only that good because of it’s efficiency. Coal plant? Now we’re back to about $1.00 per KW. Plus, why are you injecting solar into the discussion? Very confusing.

    4. Non-sensical calculations? OK, for currently installed capacity – efficiency: same; transmission: no loss, to a first approximation; capital costs: same. You got back a penny and a half. Now costs (less fuel, wages, maintenance, etc) are down to $0.065 vs. $0.08. Your CCGT plant using similar assumptions is $0.04, rounded to the nearest penny.

    The differences among $0.04, $0.065, and $0.08 are trivial compared to Nippy’s $0.0068.

    Please feel free to troll elswhere.

  76. DaninCA and Claude,

    PG&E uses an AVERAGE line loss of 9% for planning purposes. Obviously, the higher the temperature and the longer the transmission and distribution lines are the higher this value will be. SCE average line loss value is a tad less then PG&E’s. I have a reference to this value somewhere on my PC….

  77. Stephen Richards: Unfortunately, most of the world and most of the power do not live in deserts.

    So what? Costs of electricity from solar are declining, and costs of electricity from other sources are projected to rise (I was wondering, do you dispute the message of the graph, either generally or its claimed accuracy?). Most of the electricity infrastructure of the future is not going to be built all at once in one place with one technology. Where PV panels are a good deal, as they are in some places (as I mentioned), they will be installed. All or almost all of my writing is about particular technologies (mass produced components or laboratory innovations) of recent months, in particular places for particular purposes. Where I live, roof-mounted PV panels are now the cheapest source of electricity for summer A/C and winter heat pumps. This doesn’t affect me because I don’t use A/C.

    Much of the world’s population have no electricity at all. For them, PV power is a good improvement over what they have, and fossil fuel delivery is less reliable than sunshine. PV panels are easier to maintain than gas turbines and diesel engines.

    Most people don’t live where the oil and gas are, either; that also matters little. What matters is not the distance, but the cost and reliability of delivery, and in some places of the world those factors, along with the declining cost of PV panels, are beginning to make PV panels an attractive alternative.

    Here is a school in Arizona. If prices of electricity increase enough, this will be a big savings for the rate payers and school district.

    http://www.solardaily.com/reports/TVUSD_Awards_SOLON_Solar_Contract_999.html

    Right now it is a calculated risk, because we do not know the future. In that location, for that purpose, I would bet that this is a good investment, though it may not be obvious for a decade or so. With their expanding population and hence continuing construction of new schools, I would expect Arizonans to explore the economics of putting PV panels on the schools from the start.

  78. @inedible hyperbowl:

    There was a ‘coal crisis’ in the UK in something like th early 1800s and there was a wood crisis in the USA when we chopped down all the Eastern forests. Oil came along and all was well again…

    Unfortunately the present Green Insanity causes “coal crisis” as a search term to find all sorts of cruft that has nothing to do with the real coal crisis of old… so no linky link…

    @George:

    Per the packages on my CFL and LED bulbs the total lumens per Watt are not all that different. Don’t know what the theory says, but do know what the packaging says showed up at the UL…

    Utiliitech Pro LED 13.5 Watts 800 Lumens
    ULA A19 Bulb Shape CFL 15 Watts 800 Lumens
    (not the most efficient but close at hand)

    I’ve got some other CFLs that are a tiny bit more efficient (14 W IIRC) as these have a plastic bulb shaped shell that takes some of the light…

    The ballasts tend to be “the issue” for LED lights. The LED is very efficient, but the total device is not dramatically better than a CFL. Yes, 1.5 Watts out of 15 W is 10%, but in absolute terms, 1.5 Watts is just nothing…

    BTW, when I’ve “fat fingered something” and gone to a surprise screen and “lost it all”, often I can just hit the “back” button in the browser and it reloads the edit screen WITH my typing… Livesaver at times…

    @Bob Diaz:

    Not that I’ve found…

    @Neill:

    I’ve been surveying areas for a while now. Texas, Florida, Wyoming, and there’s this nice little valley in Tenn. that the tornadoes are lifted over and gets nice weather. Shows up on any decent weather map as a hole in the cloud / storm tracks.

    For Texas, draw a line from San Antone up to just North of Dallas. Hill country too.
    For Florida, about a 30 mile radius around Orlando (substantially reduced hurricane landings)

    Oh, and you can live in Washington on the Vancouver side (no income tax) and shop in Oregon over the bridge near Portland (no sales tax).

    @Matthew R Marler:

    It will be even cheaper to buy a natural gas generator and run it in a box out back of the house… (Or even run my Diesel car and I can charge a battery box…)

    I’ve already moved to the back yard BBQ as the cost of charcoal and propane are both less than for my All Electric Kitchen.

    If you think solar power is going to run my oven (when I’m ‘down sun’ of a few tall redwood trees) that’s just silly.

    However, there are LOTS of nice big trees around here to cut down and feed to the BBQ.

    Yes, here in The Peoples Republic Of California we are achieving the Socialist Workers Paradise goal of Equality. We, too, can be best served by adopting 3rd World fuel strategies and cooking our food in the yard over a Rocket Stove with sticks for fuel… No, no smiley. I’ve “done the math” and bought the needed materials. $10 for a metal tube and cinderblocks. Already have the old grill…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/beer-cans-will-save-the-world/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/camping-at-home-is-cheaper/

    See, this is the kind of thing that happens when Emergent Behaviour meets “PC Best Intentions”…

    Next up, I’m buying about 50 lbs of Lead Acid battery ( I already have the 2 kW inverter and the battery box from when Governor Grey (out) Davis last played with our electricity system, so it’s time to finish that project that got shelved when he was recalled…) Then it’s just a quick clip to run either my generator or my Diesel car (whichever is cheaper at the time) to charge the box..

    Yup, gotta love this New Green Paradise. Folks running Diesel and nat gas generators at home and chopping down the woods to cook dinner. Reminds me of Africa…

    AND it will be far cheaper than buying solar or using that PG&E PC stuff…

    No, no /sarc>; and no smiley. Dead serious and “did the math”… Need to get a filter set up to filter some ‘scrap oils’ for the Diesel to burn. Not as clean as the commercial stuff, but a whole lot cheaper.

  79. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the local school is going to chop down the trees over the play field to install a solar panel field.

    It has a subsidy so it must be a good idea /sarcoff>;

    Really, they are not putting them over the parking lot as “that might cause the neighbors to not like the view” and are going to cut down established trees to put them over the play field.

    You just can’t make up this kind of stupidity.

    But I might be able to score some nice wood for cooking…

  80. E.M. Smith: It will be even cheaper to buy a natural gas generator and run it in a box out back of the house…

    That’s a possibility. Each person has to do the calculations for his/her own needs and locale.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that the local school is going to chop down the trees over the play field to install a solar panel field.

    Somebody needs to have some long public information sessions there. At the AZ school that I linked, there were no trees to chop down.

    Occasionally, it seems that some reader believes that I advocate current PV technology for everyone everywhere. What I have shown, with reasonable numbers, is that for some people, in some places, for some purposes electricity from PV panels is cost-competitive taking into account forecasts of natural gas price increases; and that for a larger number of people, future PV panels will be worth looking into.

    Cutting down trees to protect the legacy view of a parking lot does not strike me as a good idea. Maybe it’s an especially good-looking parking lot.

  81. @Matthew R Marler:

    Not a particularly good looking parking lot…

    It’s just the kind of stupidity you get when “subsidy” meets “advocacy”…

    FWIW, I’m all for solar. I just think we need to have zero “subsidy” and zero “PC Pressure” and just let folks make sane decisions based on what actually works.

    There are some local schools where the have put panels over the parking area and it’s a great improvement. Parking in the shade. Cars last longer and not an oven when you get it…

    But once “subsidy” is in the air, all sorts of uneconomic and flat out stupid things get done.

    I’ve regularly priced solar (and I refuse to use a subsidy on principle) and it still doesn’t cut it on it’s own.

  82. vuckevich;
    Units, my child, units.

    Is that usage per day, week, month, year, or lifetime?

  83. nargun says:
    June 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Well, here in South Australia we are already paying your 2026 price.

    Being 14 years more suicidally insane than California is impressive. Let us know how it’s going while you still can, OK?

  84. “””””…..E.M.Smith says:

    June 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    @inedible hyperbowl:

    There was a ‘coal crisis’ in the UK in something like th early 1800s and there was a wood crisis in the USA when we chopped down all the Eastern forests. Oil came along and all was well again…

    Unfortunately the present Green Insanity causes “coal crisis” as a search term to find all sorts of cruft that has nothing to do with the real coal crisis of old… so no linky link…

    @George:…..”””””

    Like I said E.M., Lowes doesn’t have much that’s any good. I’m sitting here with a $9.95 Phillips A19 (60 Watt equivalent} 800 Lumens @3,000K for 10.5 Watts of electricity.

    LED’s do not have any ballast; that’s strictly a fluorescent light necessity. LEDs run off DC, so there’s an ac to dc switching power supply; perhaps the most thoroughly developed electronic package in the universe given the proliferation of computers and other toyz. Readily available power supply modules for sizeable LED fixtures (Stadium lighting) have 94-95% full load efficiency. Cheap junk ones are 85%. The people who make them simply don’t understand the concept of efficiency.
    For every shyster solar panel purveyor (on your tax dollar) there’s a clone selling LED lights out of the back of a pick-em-up truck.

    Fluorescent lighting is generated from an invisible UV gas discharge (hence the ballast), so the discharge produces zero illumination. So 100% of the visible radiation has to be produced by down converting phosphors. If you absorb a 4 eV UV photon, and emit a 2-3 eV visible photon, then you lose 1.5 to 2.0 eV in the transaction. That is the Stokes shift loss, that limits the efficiency of fluorescents. Warm white fluorescents at 2,700-3,000 K color Temp need a red phosphor as well as a broad yellow. All known conventional red phosphors have a very broad long wavelength tail, and put out a lot of radiation beyond 700 nm where the eye response is crashing off a cliff, which is why you take a penalty for warm white fluorescents ( and warm blue pumped LEDs.)

    Blue pumped LEDs start with a blue emitter around 460 nm, where the Cerium doped YAG absorption line is, so that part of the blue emission is shifted to yellow, and maybe red, and also incurs the Stokes shift loss; but the remaining blue light is part of the visible spectrum, so it contributes to the “light” with no energy loss. Three or four color mixing white LEDs, incur no Stokes shift loss, and you can select a red, that doesnt produce much near IR invisible tail.

    The problem with the A19 lamp, is that it is a 4pi emitter for no reason than to look like a light bulb. Who the hell cares about mean spherical candlepower from a light they are on one side of.

    If I was living in a free country, I would take my house off the grid, and put up battery charging solar arrays; triple junction >100 sun steerable arrays (self) and then use DC LED lighting off the batteries, and eliminate the two way dc-AC-DC inversion along with active power factor correction both ways. Get maybe 40% efficiency from the solar,going to maybe 60% in the next five years; and then use thermal solar colection for the heating chores. Don’t need PG&E ever, if you do it properly.
    LED s will be at 200 Lumens per Watt within two years.

  85. Here in Spain the electricity supply gives details of how much is paid in taxes and subsidies and it is more than 50% of the bill! Costs of generation and supply are only 46% of the final invoice price. Sheer madness, and no wonder that people are being forced into fuel poverty.

  86. Matthew R Marler says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm
    … for some people, in some places, for some purposes electricity from PV panels is cost-competitive taking into account forecasts of natural gas price increases;

    Would they occur after the next few decades of falling surplus gas prices (in North America)? Why does that remind me of “global warming will resume even faster after the next 3 or 4 decades of cooling” predictions? It’s not really even worth the time to ask, “How do you know? What track record does that forecast model have?” Faith-based climatology doesn’t have any non-circular responses to offer. Nor does faith-based Peakism.

    I say “faith-based” because proponents and believers are long inured and immune to contrary events and failure of predictions. Asking for, and getting adherence to, make/break falsification criteria is met with spirals of circumlocution.

  87. Mathew Marlow says …. “Abengoa 200 MU PV project in the Imperial Valley.. $.03 kwh….”

    Mathew,

    I couldn’t find any specifics on the Abengoa project. Pete Danko said this-

    “Abengoa is going to build a 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic plant in the California’s Imperial Valley, but for whom and exactly where is a mystery.”

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-mystery-of-the-imperial-valley-solar-project/

    If the output of the project is going to SDG&E, likely as they are the ones who are capacity strained at the moment, then the price that SDG&E will be paying for the output will be under a PPA and the AVERAGE price will be a heck of a lot more then $.03 kwh. Out here in sunny CA the PPA’s for RE have time of delivery (TOD) factors that increase the cost of a kwh delivered to the ISO’s at super peak times during the summer. In the summer at super peak times PG&E will be paying about $.24 for a kwh for the energy (generation) from the PV facilities (2009 contracts – the cpuc time of delivery (TOD) periods and factors are noted here- http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/FINAL_RESOLUTION/111386.htm) ) for 20 to 25 years. TOD factors for all three private (PG&E, SCE, and San Diego) utility service providers are noted in the resolution.

    The California Public Utilities Commission recently released a report to the legislature on our RE efforts- http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/3B3FE98B-D833-428A-B606-47C9B64B7A89/0/Q4RPSReporttotheLegislatureFINAL3.pdf

    …….”Figure 6 below shows the weighted average TOD-adjusted cost of contracts approved by the CPUC in that year. From 2003 to 2011, contract costs have increased from 5.4 cents to 13.3 cents per kWh. One important reason for this this increase is that the IOUs contracted with existing renewable facilities at the beginning of the RPS program and with mostly new facilities in later years. In order to meet the ambitious 20% and 33% RPS targets, the IOUs have to contract with new facilities, which require higher contract costs to recover the capital needed to develop a new facility…..”

    On the bright side of things my PV system provided 100% of our usage for the last 3 days. Naturally, I had to use some power from the grid at night and I sent power to the grid when my production was greater then my actual demand.

    All of the commercial users of electrical energy in CA are being moved to Time of Use metering that has higher prices for a kwh of energy at peak times which matches closer to what it costs the ISO’s to deliver the more expensive energy to them. At the moment the residential market out here hasn’t been required to move to Time of Use, or dynamic pricing. To spread the increased costs of the utility scale RE that we are adding into the generation mix the ISO’s are requesting that the residential market pay some of the increased costs too. They are requesting a further reduction in the baseline quantities and they want to add in a service fee and raise the prices of all the Tier’s for both their CARE and Non-CARE customers as noted in PG&E’s 2012 Rate Design Window- details of their requests are noted here- -http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/proceedings/A1202020.htm

  88. The incremental cost I pay today in Calif is nearly double what the graph shows: closer to $0.30 per kw-hr. Pricing is tiered, so after you use up the tiny baseline, price shoots up quickly.

    “Generation” cost is billed in addition to “transmission” cost, add in a bunch of “fees” and other taxes, and that’s why I’m already at 30cents.

    To think that will double by mid 2020s is insane; I plan to ditch this state before then.

    To answer someone else’s previous rhetorical question, the state is in the death-grip of:

    1) radical environmentalists, who have embedded yhemselves into many overlapping & redundant regualtory agencies,
    2) the gov’t labor unions, whose lavish pay & benefits are bankrupting the state.
    3) the extensive “grievance”, “identity”, and social welfare lobbying groups, who are always seeking to redistribute (ie, seize) the wealth & income of the shrinking pool of productive residents.

  89. Kakatoa: I couldn’t find any specifics on the Abengoa project. Pete Danko said this-

    “Abengoa is going to build a 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic plant in the California’s Imperial Valley, but for whom and exactly where is a mystery.”

    Thank you. I was both hopeful and suspicious about the cost quoted in the source that I cited. The previous most economical large scale PV power plant that I costed out came to $0.06 per kwh. If we are able to find better cost estimates, we shall have to try to share them. For my home the cost would be about $0.09 per kwh, but I do not use enough electricity to pay that cost out of savings; I would have to be granted a feed-in tariff of about $0.08 in order to cover the cost via the sales. Policy-wise, I would not support a feed-in tariff that high.

    The AZ school that I linked to had a tax subsidy for the PV power, but since all the costs of running a public school are tax-paid, that’s just an accounting transfer from one account to another.

    The rest of your post is also informative. It applies to me, as I am an SDG&E customer. I take my exercise walks near the originally posed Sunrise Power Link, which I supported. The new route more than doubled the cost, but the Sunrise Power Link is complete (or nearly, I don’t remember the exact date, but it’s set to enter service soon.)

    Lots of people on these threads regularly criticize California electricity and other power policies. I share most of those criticisms (with enthusiasm do I share most of them). CA has a multidecade history of bad energy policy. I voted to repeal AB32, which set a goal that I think is literally unachievable without a dramatic reduction in CA GDP. But I think, and write, that blanket denunciations of solar power are unsupportable. For some purposes and some places (Arizona schools, Imperial Valley irrigation and A/C) current PV technologies should at least be given serious consideration.

  90. Brian H: Would they occur after the next few decades of falling surplus gas prices (in North America)?

    That’s a question with a faith-based premise. Natural gas prices declined and have stopped declining. The demand for natural gas has grown and will continue to grow. Soon the pipelines to the East Coast LNG terminals will be completed, and the price will be governed in part by the bidders in the international market. Neither the surplus nor the falling prices are guaranteed for “decades”. That’s why I called the Arizona school case a “calculated risk”. In a market, including government purchasers, the actors will not all reach the same conclusion at the same time. If you were responsible for that school, you’d bet on electricity from gas; if I ran that school, I’d bet on electricity from PV panels. We won’t know for 10 years or so who would have made the better bet.

  91. Tom in Calif says:
    June 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    To answer someone else’s previous rhetorical question, the state is in the death-grip of:

    If I could add to your list:
    n) Big corporations making windfall profits but not paying appropriate taxes because of sweetheart deals with local leaders

    I refer you to El Segundo and Chevron.

    Please see the Tips & Notes page, (June 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm) for links to SoCal Connected coverage of this story airing this weekend on KCET.

  92. Here’s a Toshiba PV installation at about $3.8/watt. That’s more in line with other facilities that I have seen recently. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-toshiba-solar-idUSBRE85J0ET20120620

    That is not my idea of a good place to locate current technology PV power plants, but Japanese have their own views and policies; and maybe it is really sunny despite being more northerly than San Diego. Because the government is subsidizing the clean-up of the Fukushima disasters, they probably view a government subsidy of solar power with less hostility than American free marketers would.

    I am rooting for Japan to restart all of its nuclear power plants. This post is only an illustration of current costs for current PV technologies from a modern manufacturer.

  93. Something that is not generally known about LED lights, is that it makes a big difference how they are constructed. First off, there is the quality of the individual lights in any fixture. I have seen LED’s that quickly start to go bad during the first year of use, simply dimming themselves into oblivion. Those are the ones that were simply not fabricated correctly, and were probably rejected on the factory floor and sold in large lots to people who put them into devices which were then sold very cheap. But there is also a problem with how a device actually has the LED’s mounted in it. LED’s are very sensitive to voltage/current spikes. Most devices group the LED’s with just one, or perhaps several, resistors. The problem with having too many LED’s on one resistor is that the current regulation is spread evenly across all the LED’s, but each LED has a unique level at which it can withstand a spike. In addition, the manufacturer wishes to maximize the amount of light coming out of the device, because that is what people are looking for in a light fixture (duh). But, by maximizing the amount of light, minimizing the number of LED’s to create that light, and driving the voltage within just a few percent of the failure spike, you will get a fair number of LED light fixtures that go bad catastrophically because of voltage spikes. Not all the LED’s are failing, but since they are in series, one failure means none of them work (Christmas lights in series have this same failing). Now, if the LED’s are out where you can check them individually, you could replace the one that is bad, and be back in business. But, if the fixture is sealed, you cannot do that.

    Now, for those people who are concerned about solid waste disposal, if you are using LED lights, you should not dispose of a “burned out” LED light fixture in normal trash. It should be handed to a electronic hobbyist to take apart, or sent to a junk yard where it will be recycled by a company that then sells the components to a hobbyist. Many light fixtures are composed of hundreds of LED bulbs, most of which will still be usable.

  94. Mathew,

    I concur that PV is appropriate in certain locations. It is not cheap, but when your alternative is no power or to mitigate $.30 to $.50 kwh from an alternative source it becomes a viable option. I saw an interesting post about a hotel in your neck of the woods that just finished putting in a fuel cell (using natural gas as the energy source) for electrical energy and the heat generated from the system is being used for a pool-

    CCSE Supports Hotel Energy System

    http://energycenter.org/index.php/news-a-media/latest-news/3200-ccse-supports-hotel-energy-system

    “The 1940s Hollywood-era Lafayette Hotel in San Diego was the scene of a celebration and switching on of a 40- kilowatt ClearEdge Power fuel cell system on May 9. During ceremonies, CCSE Managing Director Peter Hamilton presented the hotel’s owners with $100,000 rebate check from the California Solar Initiative’s Self-Generation Incentive Program ( SGIP)………………

    “With the ClearEdge Power fuel cell system, the hotel aims to reduce its annual energy costs by approximately $30,000, while eliminating 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.”

    http://www.clearedgepower.com/

    Thanks for the Toshiba reference, that cost to install a system sounds about right to me. My panels were built by Mitsubishi and they have held up well (output wise) as I am going to be generating 9400 +/- 100 kwh this year, which isn’t to bad considering that’s about what the system generated 5 years ago (9600 kwh). Unfortunately, I agree with your assessment of the effects of AB32- a drag on the states GDP. The drag will be felt in certain areas of the state more then others.

  95. Kakatoa: I saw an interesting post about a hotel in your neck of the woods … .

    thanks. there has been much talk of that these past 12 years, but I haven’t kept up with all the stories.

  96. Stephen Richards says:

    You need to look closer at PV output. It is as useless as wind mills. It varies too much, destabilizes the grid, is very inefficient ~~ 18 – 20%, needs a lot of land and a lot of maintenance. We need a new PV technology for it to be of any real use.

    Exactly what “new technology” would address the issue of random supply which cannot possibly be matched to demand? Even if the average power is sufficient you need energy storage in hundreds of TJ to tends of PJ to possibly have a stable power grid.

  97. Should anyone here be a lawyer and care to press this, they should use Title IX, XI and the American with Disabilities Act to oppose these decisions as the loss of cheap electricity unduly affects minorities and the disabled. There is significant precedent and it has been used by the Green crowd to stop road expansions and other projects deemed to be too environmentally costly under the auspices of “Social Justice”.

  98. kramer says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

    “Somebody else will buy it, so there’s no net savings other than banking “feel good” capital.”

    I think the simple goal here is to make water more expensive so we use less of it.

    For some reason, water use has been getting more and more attention, not sure if its because it requires energy to move it, because we have an “unfair” amount of water here in the USA, or because they want us to conserve water (by putting a price on it) and then ship some of our water overseas in those Spragg bags…

    Water usage is one of the ‘sustainability’ issues covered by Agenda 21 – that is why you are hearing it more.

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