Jump to content

Articles on Solar, Net Metering and Eskom Power


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Interesting:

To drive out solar power companies out of sunny Nevada, you have to do something pretty bad. This is exactly what happened while most of us weren't paying attention, enjoying the holidays (or stressing out, depending...). The Nevada Public Utility Commission (PUC) changed its rules surrounding net metering and increased fees charged to the owners of solar systems (who said the sun was free?):

"The base service charge is rising from $12.75 to $17.90 per month [a 40% increase] for southern Nevada solar customers and from $15.25 to $21.09 [a 38.2% increase] for northern Nevada customers. The changes also reduce the amount the utility pays to buy power back from rooftop solar panels, from 11 cents a kilowatt hour to 9 cents [an 18.2% decrease] in southern Nevada and from 12 cents to 10.5 cents [a 12.5% decrease] in the north. The service charge will rise and the reimbursement will drop every year until 2020."

This might not seem like much until you do the math and realize that these changes would negate the savings on many solar customers' utility bills. For example, if you are thinking about getting a solar system that would save you $40/month, you might not go solar if the new rules reduce net-metering returns and increase fees by more than $40/month. Some people might still do it just to have clean power, but a lot of people just won't.

 

 

 https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/96493-6090710907212546049

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a problem all over the world. Initially it was free for all, subsidies, using the grid as your 'batteries', nirvana.

Then Europe and the USA started feeling the pinch.

 

Just about everyone can generate their own power and feed back.

But, who is going to pay for maintaining the connection from your house to the main grid, and multiply that by all the users.

And as Plonkster also added on another thread, municipalities give free electricity to the poor.

Another problem is to keep the grid om 220v, 50hz. To do that all over a country, is probably the biggest expense in this thing called electricity.

 

So if we all just supply the utilities somewhere someone has to pay for the poor, maintaining the grid and ensure the power stays constant.

 

Large grids are not ideal for distributed power generation.

Mini grids on the other hand, is perfect for distributed power generation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup :-)

 

This gets even more interesting. So some may have read the book "Freakonomics". I haven't, but I heard some stuff from it, some being complete nonsense and others quite thought provoking. :-)

 

So one example from this book, is a tax example. What happens if you levy a tax on every cup of coffee sold? Well, the cups grow bigger! The moral of the story is that the system adapts the minimise the hurt.

 

So in a similar manner, what happens when legislation requires someone to buy renewable energy at preferential rates (as happened in Germany for example) or when the FIT is extremely good (as happened in Spain) while base load capability has to be guaranteed (ie you have to run power stations and grids without selling electricity)? Well, you run your cheapest stations. And those stations are ... *drum roll* coal! So ironically, the adoption of renewable energy has a nasty side effect, that more expensive but cleaner sources get caught in the pinch.

 

I don't really see a way around this, other than a connection fee of sorts (to pay for the actual upkeep), and hopefully (in this country) an eventual state where the poor can start paying for their own electricity or some other way can be found to fund it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this is one of the main reasons City of Cape Town, in my opinion, is cautious if we all push back to the grid: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/news/2014/07/german-utilities-paid-to-stabilize-grid-due-to-increased-wind-and-solar.html

 

This is the way to go for smaller towns and suburbs: http://news.yahoo.com/off-grid-german-village-banks-wind-sun-pig-133137765.html then the above problem is resolved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
10 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Imagine this takes off: http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/small-scale-local-grids-have-potential-1987686

I must say, if I was president, I would insist that all house be grid tied, with as many mini-grids as possible.

imagine the amount of job loss, but also the level of efficiency ;)  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O sorry, you meant Eskom job losses ... are they working?

Or just another tax liability the tax payers have to carry? I bet you with those job losses, more poor communities will get power, creating more students for the future, and more jobs on the spot. :D 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

I must say, I reluctantly agree: http://it-online.co.za/?p=108407?utm_source=dailymailer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article

For if that happens, Plonksters batteries are going to be cheaper than grid, and that is good.

I sometimes think the lifeline tariff is one of those "necessary evils". We only do it because the of the impact on plant life and fire hazards that result when you don't provide cheap electricity. But at a little over R1 per kwh, there is absolutely no incentive for a lifeline user to cut his consumption. At this rate, a solar water heater doesn't even pay for itself in a decade. On top of it all, it does not pay for the maintenance of the grid and you end up subsidizing that from your affluent users. The problem with affluent users: They can not only afford better (energy efficient) appliances and alternative sources, they will do it simply because it makes investment sense.

So municipalities have to get themselves out of this bind, and really the only way I see this happening is if the lower-end electricity gets considerably more expensive. The old adage applies: What you give one person for free, you have to take from another without compensation.

You can however only do that if you give low-income earners a way to pay for it, in other words: This will have to go hand in hand with job creation and general economic growth. None of which we have...

What is interesting though, is that in the middle of this downwards crunch, there are area in the country (let's not say who runs those areas) where there has been net-creation of jobs, rather than losses. A man can dream...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently all current lifeline users, with a municipal house valuation > R300 000, will be changed to the domestic tariff in the next tariff increase cycle.

The City Of Cape Town have been trying to do this for a while now, but as the story goes there was no political support for it. 

It will be interesting to see if the COC succeed this time round.

I initially saw getting onto the lifleline 1 tariff as my reward for being energy efficient and investing in solar. Now i understand that it makes far more sense to see it as a relief for the poor so fully agree with bringing in the house evaluation. I am going to miss those 60 free units though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Carl said:

Apparently all current lifeline users, with a municipal house valuation > R300 000, will be changed to the domestic tariff in the next tariff increase cycle.

They already started in Somerset West last year. The complaints on Facebook was something to behold...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...