Monday, July 18, 2016

Solar Panels May Soon Prove to be Too Expensive

This is from a story in the DESMOG blog dated May 9, 2016

Louise Helton, owner of One Sun Solar Electric in Las Vegas, says that since January her company is doing more work removing solar panels from rooftops than installing them.

But at least she’s still in business, unlike many solar entrepreneurs in Nevada. She’s had to diversify into LED lighting installation and other sources of income.

“During the recession, rooftop solar was the bright spot in the Nevada economy,” Helton tells DeSmog. “We were booming. And now we’re dead.”

It was a decision by the Public Utility Commission of Nevada (PUCN) in December that delivered a fatal blow to rooftop solar in the sunniest state in the U.S.

By removing a key incentive for rooftop solar customers — net metering — the PUC made it prohibitively expensive for existing and future solar customers to use solar panels to generate part or all or their electricity needs.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

And another article dated April 13, 2012 on the Pointman's blog


If you keep an eye on the financial world, which I do, and especially the green sectors, which I also do, it’s been an interesting time of late. Within the last few weeks, Solar Trust of America (STA), owner of the world’s largest solar plant, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, and nobody expects much of it, if anything, to emerge from it. STA joins a long list of companies in the solar energy sector, who’ve gone bankrupt, ducked into protection from their creditors, suspended production indefinitely or are simply circling the plughole.

Across the world, a few of the more prominent and expensive casualties are Solyndra, Solar Millennium AG, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, Q-Cells, Solon, Solar Millenium, Solarhybrid, Ener1, Range Fuels, Beacon Power Corp and there’s a whole lot of others. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s probably not a good idea to invest your hard-earned pennies in any company with “solar” in its name. It’s almost as bad a mistake as thinking you had some sort of long-term future employment with one of them.

Nearly all of these companies were the beneficiaries of huge government startup grants or loan guarantees. The products they made were effectively sold to consumers with a subsidy, to make them more attractive. The customers also had the benefit of some generous feed-in tariff schemes. All that money that was sunk into them has now gone and the specific green industry sector it was expected to create, is pretty much moribund.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Portman's article.


Harris - Finish Werks said...

Coach, beg to differ.

Nevada is in fact screwed out of solar PV by an unprecedented and politically charged PUC that favors fossil fuels. But they are the exception, not the rule. Texas is booming in wind and solar, and this isn't exactly a tree hugging state. Oil baron T. Boone Pickens was the first to plow his money into renewables there.

The "Pointman" is obviously a conservative that jumped on the Solyndra bandwagon 4 years ago. This April 2012 article is ancient and irrelevant. The industry is booming... why do you think Elon Musk is acquiring Solar City for $2.6B? He's no idiot with his fortune.

If you want to current scoop in the form of easy to read daily newsletters, you need to watch You'll find out very quickly that huge sums of private VC is going into renewables, and that utility companies across America are switching to solar and wind power for just one reason: Economics. The per megawatt rates are actually LESS than coal and natural gas in many areas of the country.

Given that Congress (controlled by Republicans) extended the Federal Tax credits for renewables in their Omnibus Bill last October, consumers can still take 30% of the installed price off of their income taxes through 2021. When you consider that money is dirt cheap when one finances a solar PV array on one's home, and that the monthly payment is often more than offset by the electric bill savings, the ROI is DAY ONE. Then you get back thousands of dollars off of your income tax bill and you see why:

Solar ain't anywhere near dead.

Steve L said...

We are building (BIPV) Building integrated photo voltaic into our modular and manufactured houses in California. Jan 2016 the CPUC (CA Public Utility Commission) mandated all new residential homes must have "Solar Ready" rooftop solar capabilities 2017. In CA., all new residential houses will be Net Zero mandated remaining electricity will be provided by utility renewable.

Nevada Changes
The Nevada PUC has issued an order making two changes in net metering billing rates that will make solar power less attractive. The first change is gradually to increase the monthly service charge for customers who participate in net metering from $12.75 to $38.51. This is a charge for being connected into the grid and will not change regardless of energy use. The PUC did not similarly increase service charges for customers that do not use net metering.

The second change is gradually to lower the rate at which rooftop solar generators are credited for the electricity that goes back to the grid. Before the recent PUC decision, the “price” at which net metering customers sold energy back to the utility was equal to the retail rate that consumers paid for usage, about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. Under the new rules, after a 4-year phase in, consumers who produce excess energy will be “paid” according to the wholesale rate of electricity, currently about 2.6 cents.

Solar City and SUNRUN got out of Nevada leased solar installation business since their is no money for them

Solar homeowners will disconnect from the Nevada utility when batteries become the normal

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain