The debate over solar has also created some surprising tensions among conservatives. On the one hand, (corporate) right-wing groups like ALEC are opposed to the heavy subsidies given to solar power by Congress and states. But another subset of (Tea Party) conservatives view solar power more favorably — and oppose efforts by states to restrict it or impose new fees.
If you ask the people who run America’s electric utilities what keeps them up at night, a surprising number will say solar power. Specifically, rooftop solar.
That seems bizarre at first. Solar power provides just 0.4 percent of electricity in the United States — a minuscule amount. Why would anyone care?
But utilities don’t see things that way. As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have “net metering” laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.
That’s a genuine problem for utilities. These solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory…
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Yesterday we received a quote for the installation of solar panels. Our electricity consumption is already low but we have limited the number of panels to just cover our consumption, because…surprise, surprise… any excess power generated by solar will get a credit but this credit will never result in actually money being paid. In other words, this credit is just monopoly money.
You can’t win!
I think the only answer is to organize local distributed energy networks. That way householders could sell the excess power they generate (especially during the day when they’re at work) to schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
Hi Doc = I belong to the largest non profit electric cooperative in the USA – and my electricity is significantly cheaper than power from the urban power companies here. Regards
Boulder Colorado is also trying to start their own electricity coop – by forcing Xcel Energy to sell them their local assets: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2014/01/08/boulders-bid-for-xcel-energys-local-assets-is-remarkable-but-expensive/
Good to see rooftop solar gaining so much momentum in the USA. If the utility companies think they have worries now, what will they do when “free” energy — zero-point energy — arrives on the scene? I believe these are symptoms of terminal illness in the old system and old separatist ways of thinking. Gradually, we will watch systems that connect and unify gain strength and power over those that try to maintain control for the sake of profits for a few.
Sadly, I think the feasibility of “free” energy has been overestimated. All the “free” energy demonstrations I have ever seen simply transfer one form of energy input into an other form. Sometimes the new energy form, especially if it takes the form of pulses, is more difficult to measure. Thus it can appear, on an ordinary voltmeter, that additional energy is being created. When proper equipment is used, it becomes clear that no new energy is created: http://wiki.4hv.org/index.php/Free_Energy_Debunking
Tesla demonstrated the feasibility of free energy over 100 years ago. When JP Morgan realized that Tesla’s intention was to “give free energy as a gift to humanity,” he felt his for-profit energy industry would be so threatened that he had Tesla’s work ridiculed and destroyed. You are accurate when you say that all the demonstrations “you have seen” have merely transferred one form of power to another. It’s the ones we haven’t seen — that were bought, stolen or otherwise acquired (murder of the inventor was sometimes a means of acquisition) that are sequestered in government and military warehouses around the world, out of the public eye and awareness. I know of several groups currently working “open source” and sharing data to develop a modern adaptation of one of Tesla’s designs from 1888. Although the Quantum Energy Generator (QEG) is not yet a “self-looping” system, these groups of determined (and many of them highly credentialed engineers and scientists) are continuing to work together (safety in numbers) to bring this technology out to the people. I think it’s only a matter of time now and I believe we’ll see this shift sooner than later.