Friday, October 30, 2015

We Have A Glut Of Oil, A Glut Of Natural Gas, And We're Talking About 2MW Of Solar Energy! Can We Stop! -- October 30, 2015

After decades of advocacy and a gazillion dollars in tax giveaways to the solar companies. Kenosha News is reporting:
The future of solar energy in Wisconsin appears bright but could use a little more wattage.
In 2014, Wisconsin installed 2 megawatts of solar electric capacity, an investment price tag of $7 million.
As of the middle of this year, there were more than 171 solar companies at work in Wisconsin, employing 1,900 people.
Despite these pretty big numbers, when it comes to installing and utilizing solar power in Wisconsin, compared to other states, we fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.
According to statistics provided by the Solar Energies Industries Association in a report with GTM Research, the solar capacity installed in 2014 ranks our state 34th nationally and the total cumulative installed solar capacity — 21 megawatts, enough to power 3,100 homes — puts us 30th nationwide.
As Chris Christie would say, "We have - wait a second - we have 19 trillion dollars in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and al Qaeda attacking us, and we're talking about 2 MW of electricity installed in one year in one of our biggest, sunniest states! Can we stop?"

Christie just wants to break free!

Queen, I Want To Break Free

$7 million / 2 MW = $3.5 million / MW. But at least it's free, intermittent, and great for a sun tan.

By the way, for the privilege of 50 people in Wisconsin putting up solar panels on their roofs, all Wisconsin residents will see their monthly utility bills increase significantly:
In the current Wisconsin Public Service case, the utility is asking regulators to increase the monthly residential fixed charge to $25 after implementing an 82 percent increase less than a year ago, from $10.40 to $19. The utility would reduce the variable kilowatt-hour charge.
The new rate design is justified, the utility says, because long-standing tariffs rely too heavily on variable energy charges to recover fixed costs like meters, poles, wires and substations.
A continued emphasis of energy efficiency from state and federal policies, slow customer growth in its service area and increased penetration of rooftop solar are causing energy sales to flatline and eroding its ability to recover those fixed costs, Wisconsin Public Service says. And solar penetration will only continue to accelerate as costs decline.
I've said this before: Americans pay so little for electricity that they are willing to let their monthly utility bills double (perhaps even more) simply to feel good (installing 2 MW of solar power in one year, for example).  When folks are willing to pay $4.50 for a fancy coffee at Starbucks, an extra dollar a day for electricity is hardly worth getting excited about. Same with gasoline. It's so cheap, people no longer feel any urgency to put in the infrastructure to move crude oil and thus we have the keystoning of the Sandpiper in Minnesota.

No comments:

Post a Comment