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View Diary: Koch, ALEC and giant utility company about to derail Arizona's private solar industry (184 comments)

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  •  San Diego Gas & Electric (7+ / 0-)

    plays the same game.

    The neighborhood near mine is fairly affluent, and I know of 3 solar homes within a mile.  SDG&E has made it so hard and so expensive to go solar that nobody does.  And this is the perfect place for solar.

    What I don't understand is ... why???  With solar, everyone benefits.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:53:14 PM PST

    •  Not everyone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, nominalize, Australian2

      The most important people, shareholders and executives of energy companies, don't benefit as much as home-owners.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:22:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why? (4+ / 0-)

      Because they are looking a long way down the road, and they don't like what they see.

      As the amount of solar and wind power increases as a percentage of the power on the grid, the harder it becomes to regulate the grid voltage. Solar is very variable - time of day and weather conditions are always changing so it becomes more complicated to control. You have to do a lot more power transferring with other utility companies, and starting/stopping peaker plants.

      Ultimately, you can't just control it on the supply side. You have to start controlling the loads also. Many utilities already have agreements with some large industrial users to have them cut back on power usage during heavy peaks (there is an economic incentive involved). But control of loads is going to have to greatly expanded.

      They are just now running into this in Germany, which is way ahead of us in the transition to renewable energy. They are proposing to install a "Smart Grid" where even many home appliances would be controlled by the grid operators.

      But in order to do that, we are going to have to rebuild our existing grid to modern standards. We are going to have to develop very clear national protocols and standards. This might mean nationalizing if the grid.

      Which of course scares the shit out of the utility companies.

      Solar and wind production is nowhere near that tipping point in the US, but the utility companies are not blind. They can see the writing on the wall. So they are trying to nip it in the bud now.

      Of course, we may not have to nationalize the grid, and politically, barring a big change in the national mood, it wouldn't fly. It might just mean an expanded Dept of Energy which comes up with the protocols and rules, leaving the utility companies in private hands.

      They still don't like the risk

      "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

      by offgrid on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:11:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you could make the grid state property (0+ / 0-)

        for most states they would be large enough to manage it,
        it's only a rhode island or Delaware where the
        state is so physically small they are dominated by local weather.

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