Monday, September 19, 2011


Green Energy Math

Here is a fairly neutral story on the new drift in the solar cell business, that is, leasing solar panels rather than buying them. OK. (That way the leasing company does all the rent seeking). But in the story was this little tidbit:

Once a system is installed, the leasing company gets a monthly payment from the homeowner and, in areas served by Xcel, a payment from the utility of 16 cents for each kilowatt-hour generated.
OK. How does that compare with what Xcel charges the people for the power it produces? Well. Xcel charges 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (for the first 500 hours and then 9 cents thereafter) both are well below 16 cents. So, who actually pays for the 11.4 cent and 7 cent differential?

We do. Xcel customers pays nearly 4 times (or nearly two times) what the power is worth.


Because we passed laws (particularly House Bill 10-1001 which set a target of 30 percent of retail electricity sales by 2020 with a requirement that three percent of the renewables be from distributed generation, such as on-site solar) making this pricing madness real.

Welcome to the new no energy economy.


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