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The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

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  • The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

    http://www.pv-magazine.com/services/...es/#california

    California - Los Angeles

    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers Standard Offer Power Purchase Agreements (SOPPA) for a total of 20 MW of photovoltaic installations, of which up to 4 MW can be small projects. Applications will be accepted from February 1 to June 28. The LADWP program pays US$0.17/kWh. The payments per kWh are based on the base price energy (BPE) multiplied by the Time of Delivery Multipliers in the table below.


    Time High Peak
    Mon - Fri (1pm - 5pm)
    Low Peak
    Mon - Fri (10am - 1pm)
    Mon - Fri (5pm - 8pm)
    Base Load
    Mon - Fri (8pm - 10am)
    Sat - Sun (all day)
    High Season
    (Jun - Sep)
    2.25 multiplier 1.10 multiplier 0.50 multiplier
    Low Season
    (Oct - May)
    1.30 multiplier 0.90 multiplier 0.50 multiplier
    In contrast:

    http://powertech.myshopify.com/pages/pt-3sv2



    Designed to hang beneath the chassis of the Mercedes Sprinter Van, this flexible unit will deliver 3000 watts prime power in any application, from trucks to motor coaches. This single cylinder workhorse delivers maximum performance while using less than a quart of fuel per hour at a full load.
    In other words, a PV install in Los Angeles gets paid $0.3825 per kwh, while the diesel generator above - assuming $4/gallon - costs less than $0.3333 per kwh.

    If you contrast this with actual PG & E prices, the contrast is even more ridiculous. Peak PG & E price for electricity ranges well into the $0.90 range.

  • #2
    Re: The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

    If they pay $0.90 very often, I would think some solar might be economic without subsidy. If I understand the chart, the solar payment is $0.38 at peak, but rather less at none peak.

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    • #3
      Re: The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

      that genset is perty slick little package and not that much bigger than an inverter: 28l x 15h x 23w

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

        Originally posted by c1ue View Post
        http://www.pv-magazine.com/services/...es/#california



        In contrast:

        http://powertech.myshopify.com/pages/pt-3sv2





        In other words, a PV install in Los Angeles gets paid $0.3825 per kwh, while the diesel generator above - assuming $4/gallon - costs less than $0.3333 per kwh.

        If you contrast this with actual PG & E prices, the contrast is even more ridiculous. Peak PG & E price for electricity ranges well into the $0.90 range.
        you need to include capital cost, depreciation and repairs.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The idiocy of low efficiency alternative energy subsidies in a nutshell

          Originally posted by Polish Silver
          If they pay $0.90 very often, I would think some solar might be economic without subsidy.
          The point is that even electricity generated by a small diesel generator is comparable in cost to the feed-in tariff reaped by a solar PV install.

          The use of diesel for electricity generation on a commercial scale has completely disappeared except for very 'peak' electricity demand situations - yet subsidies for a solar PV install are comparable to the cost of just firing up a diesel generator.

          Originally posted by Polish Silver
          If I understand the chart, the solar payment is $0.38 at peak, but rather less at none peak
          That is correct, but I'd also note that off-peak electricity generation also likely means that fed-in electricity is essentially wasted as baseline capacity is not fully utilized anyway. Or put another way: the peak PV feed in electricity is more likely to be used even if the subsidy cost is outrageous - although firing up a diesel generator is similar in cost - while the off peak cost per kwh is lower but also more likely to just be thrown away.

          Originally posted by jk
          you need to include capital cost, depreciation and repairs.
          Yes, but besides the point noted above, the subsidy benefits associated with feed-in tariffs equally exclude things like grid transmission losses.

          Comment


          • #6
            PCO and Solar

            The PV subsidy can be justified in two ways: Greenhouse emission reduction, or peak oil.

            I am not a big believer in global warming. I am a big believer in peak oil. So the idea is that in 5-10 years petrol prices could double, making the diesel generator a lot more expensive, but not the PV.

            So, by spending a but on PV now, we get bugs out and the pay off is in the long run.

            I don't necessarily feel this is a great strategy, for these reasons:

            a) the solution to higher oil prices may be more nuclear power, not more solar power

            b) subsidizing current solar power may not be as cost effective as investing in technological improvements.

            c) market forces would eventually work to deal with the problem. It might make more sense to just slap on an oil tarrif, give the market forces a head start.
            Last edited by Polish_Silver; 07-05-13, 09:49 PM. Reason: typo

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