Fortune magazine article has just talking points from anti-solar side, concerning Nevada

JustinAJustinA Registered Users Posts: 8

All talking points against net metering and the solar industry, with no counterpoint at all.

For instance, there are cherry-picked examples of how poor abused seniors have been persuaded to make poor financial choices. There is the argument that solar needs subsidies (ignoring the issue of coal power in particular being heavily subsidized in terms of the environmental toll, from mercury seafood contamination to smog). There is the fallacious argument that solar should not be something that benefits ordinary people financially if they make the investment — that it's only OK in terms of yielding profit if you're a big business or part of the wealthy elite who could afford to take advantage of all the incentives offered when solar was very pricey upfront. Extra money for the coal, oil, and gas power companies is more important than clean energy? Apparently so!

I don't follow Fortune much. I recall reading puff pieces about how wonderfully brilliant some company executive is (and you would be fabulously rich and fancy, too, if you were just a bit less lazy and a bit smarter). But, it's sad to see blatant propaganda written with a pseudo-neutral tone — rather than being openly an editorial.


  • JustinAJustinA Registered Users Posts: 8
    edited April 2016 #2
    Counterpoint via the Wall Street Journal

    MR. BALL: Your company leases solar panels to homeowners, puts the panels on the roofs and the homeowners don’t pay any capital cost. They pay you effectively as their electricity provider and that’s how you monetize your business?

    MS. JURICH: Exactly. And what’s happening is that the home on average uses about 70% of that power. About 30% of it flows back into the grid.

    The framework we’ve used in this company predominantly is that that homeowner should be credited at the retail rate when that energy flows back into the grid, because it flows to the neighbor. It’s much cheaper for the power to go to the neighbor than it is…

    MR. BALL: So I have a house and I buy my power from you for less than I would pay if I bought power from the grid. That’s why I buy power from you. And I sell it back into the grid at a higher price than I have paid you for it, because I’m being paid prevailing…

    MS. JURICH: Correct.

    MR. BALL: That’s a pretty sweet deal. Is it going to last?

    MS. JURICH: Not in Nevada.

    So let’s talk about this and how we can sort of resolve this. When you look at the studies, what happens is you actually see that at our penetration levels, when we put home solar onto the grid, it strengthens the grid. It saves money for all customers. And many of the studies, and all of the independent studies, have shown that.

    There is a utility trade group that just did a survey that asked, “What should consumers be compensated”—solar customers—“for energy that flows back to the grid?” And 80% said, “At retail rate or higher.”

    What happened in Nevada, the legislators said, “We want this thriving rooftop solar market. Come on in.” Then the utility commission said, “You know what? We’re going to change the rate on what we pay for customers’ power that flows back to the grid. We’re going to pay you two cents, two cents a kilowatt-hour, for the power that flows back to the grid that goes to your neighbor. But we’re going to charge that neighbor 12 cents.”

    That’s what happened there. That will not stand the test of time.

    MR. BALL: Some say it isn’t fair for people who are hooked up to the grid but have solar panels not to be paying something for the maintenance of the electrical grid.

    MR. WERNER: The challenge here is the economic model for electricity was established a long time ago, and wasn’t established to think you could have distributed generation that made sense. So the economic model needs to change.

    It's nice to see counterpoint but these publications really should present both sides' talking points and arguments and then make an effort to comment on their veracity. For instance, the cherry-picked example of the senior who took out a mortgage should be scrutinized, not just in terms of the issue of anecdote not defining the norm but also in other ways.

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,033 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Go offgrid and let the grid people stress themselves!  Cheers! 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

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