I originally planned on posting another topic today, but after a short discussion on Amendment 1 of Florida with some people I’ve just met at NEC (National Entrepreneurship Center) , I would like to remind our fellow Sunshine Staters/Floridians that we have serious responsibility in assuring the growth and development of Solar Industry (utility scale as well as distributed solar) here in Florida, for solar energy is the solution to not just for the energy crisis but also environmental pollution, international conflicts, and climate change. Given that state of Florida is frequently visited by hurricanes, we need to insure the development of distributed solar (solar rooftops). Therefore, it is utmost important that we should Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 ! For further explanations as to why we should vote “NO” on amendment 1, please refer to one of my earlier posts, Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 In November!!!
To better understand the need of urgency for our earthly transition toward renewables, I’d like to share some videos below:
Before The Flood of National Geographic:
Chasing Ice of National Geographic:
Yes, I believe that once each individual is out of the fog of confusion, he/she will choose the right way in helping to reach the solution. In this case, quick transition to renewables such as Solar and Wind Energy is what we should all aim for. Remember to share with your fellow neighbors, family members, friends, to Vote “NO” On Amendment 1 and be more conscious of how you live and how you vote. For such actions would help to determine the survival of millions of our fellow earthlings.
I’ve received quite a few response from this post through various social media, mostly positive and supportive. But there were few responses that are not supportive. I appreciate those who are on the opposing side to take the time to respond because it helps me to better understand where their belief came from. For example, one of the opposing side remarked below (in italics):
1. Looks, via net metering, non solar folks are having to pay for all the grid upkeep. Solar users pay nothing. You somehow say that not receiving this large subsidy is unfair. Not penalizing others so you can sell your product that can’t stand on it’s own is some how bad? You better learn to stand on your own. We are sick of holding you up.
My response: Firstly, I am not selling any solar product nor services and there is no discussion about subsidy here. I am simply a conscientious American and Floridian who cares about the planet earth and fellow Floridians and would like to see Homo Sapiens to occupy this planet for as long as possible and as few Floridians to become homeless as possible. If insisting on Floridian solar installers to pay extra fees (under Amendment 1), it would encourage solar users to go completely off grid. This would increase more difficulty for the grid (because if more solar users are connected to the grid the more they can help to relieve the grid pressure and reduce the cost or need of additional power plants to be build…this would help to reduce the utility cost for every one!) So, it would be wise for utility and Floridians to try to entice solar users to be connected to the grid rather than implementing measures to encourage them to go off grid. In terms of fairness, I believe it is not fair to have legislation to insist that you pay for the mortgage or rent of your neighbors when you are not using the house of your neighbors. This is the issue that is being addressed: why should solar users pay for the grid if they are not using it? It would be much wiser for every one to treat one another fairly, because only under sphere of fairness, cooperation is more likely to occur. This is why we need our regulatory agency to conduct research on Fair Value of Solar: http://windermeresun.com/2016/09/08/we-need-fair-value-of-solar-not-amendment-1/
2. This is pure crack. For all you fear mongers, how can you change the climate? The change in climate is normal and has been doing so for billion of years since the world was created. nothing can be done to change it, GOD’s CREATION IS PERFECT!!!
My response: It is the rate (how fast) of change that we are addressing because when it changes too quickly, human beings are not able to respond fast enough;therefore you end up having frequent flooding in Miami and some of the island countries are in the process of disappearing (so they have to look for homes for their people), as Floridian coastal residents….As for changing the climate: did you know that scientists can already modify/change weather conditions? The dramatic increase in CO2 emission is one of the main contributing factors to increased rate of climate change and global warming. The CO2 emission is due to human activity and our standard of living. So, it is our responsibility to try to slow down this rate of change if we care at all about our fellow human being (the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe, and USA/Florida). For it is the poor who will be paying the price of the wealthy who can afford to easily move to a different location. The irony is: it is those of us in the wealthy developed nations that have contributed the most to increased rate of climate change. Don’t you think your God would want you to help your fellow human being, by slowing down the climate change and be fair to all ?
3. The worst hurricane and flooding in Miami was 1926 when over 6,000 people were killed. Miami Beach is subsiding due to pumping out trillions of gallons of water over the last century. Sea level has risen about 9″ in each of the last 3 centuries and is not increasing no matter what AlGore is telling you. All of the alarmist are making dire predictions that never happen. James Hansen, the Father of Global Warming predicted in 1988 that in 25 years, Manhattan Island would be under water. That was 2013 and the actual sea level went up several inches. Did you know that most of Manhattan is lower than most of Florida. The US has not been struck with a major (Cat 3 hurricane or higher) in over 4,000 days. Media hype used by people who make their living from global warming. 18,000 years ago (a wink in geologic time), sea level was 270 feet lower than now and Florida was 900 miles wide. Chicago and NY were covered with over a mile of ice. Global warming has been going on in spits and starts since then and the notion that man kind is increasing the rate is not proven. Fear mongering is used to sell stuff by agenda driven people.
My response: I have been an engineer and a math professor for over 20 years. I am not selling any solar product or services, just a conscientious American and Floridian who felt compelled to try my best to help my fellow human being on planet earth by slowing down the climate change via advocating for solar energy and modifying my life style. If Amendment 1 is passed, it will very likely be able to destroy solar industry in Florida. Yes, climate has always been changing, but now we are particularly concerned about its rate (how fast) of change that will potentially be increasing the frequency of hurricanes (such as that of 1926). We had just been visited by Hurricane Matthew (up to Category 5 at certain parts of FL) within the last month. You need to view this film by Leonardo DiCaprio, explaining much about the issue of climate change, encouraged by Pope and UN and various scientific communities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M To give hope and optimism for our future generations, we need to play an active part in helping to slow down the climate change and encourage the growth of solar/renewable energy industries.If you are not afraid of truth and reality, you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M
VOTE “NO” ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION
Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November because Amendment 1 Will Block Out the Sun (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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This is a repost from one of our sister publication, Windermere Sun, below:
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Dear Friends & Neighbors,
Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for Florida to welcome Solar Energy into our state!!!Then Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November!!! Reasons are explained in the posts and videos in the two posts below (please click & view):
This article contains material that would help to explain why Amendment 1 is anti-solar: Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun (Similar measure in Amendment 1 has already destroyed solar industry in the state of Nevada. We do not want a repeat of what happened in Nevada here in Florida!!!)
Amendment 1 part (a) promises the right Floridians already possess (the right to own or lease solar equipments on their property) but prevents Floridians from selling any excess solar energy produced to be sold to others outside of the property owner. Amendment 1 part (b) may potentially allow utilities to create another fee to be charged to solar installation owners or solar power users even if these solar power users are not customers of the utilities. So a votes of “yes” on Amendment 1 would: a. establish constitutional right rather than keep it statutory. b. eliminate free market potential for electricity c. create assumption that solar power users are subsidized by utility customers. Passing Amendment 1 would potentially destroy the solar businesses in Florida (as a similar measure did in Nevada).
Especially after the recent visit from Hurricane Matthew, it is critical for us to promote both utility scale and distributed solar throughout our state and our U.S.A.! This is not only for the fact that Florida needs to live up to its name sake, The Sunshine State, but the fact that much of our state revenues depend on tourism, and therefore our air and water quality plays an important part of our state’s income. Furthermore, the climate change or warming of our planet earth would speed up the process of our disappearing coastal cities (esp. Miami). This is another reason why Florida should make strong effort in supporting solar energy to flourish, to slow down the climate change and warming of our planet. Don’t forget the fact that solar energy is the source of energy that cannot be exclusively possessed by few nations on earth. Therefore widespread use of solar energy would prevent potential warfare among nations for the sake of fuel. Finally, it is undeniable that we are progressing toward the Clean/Renewable Energy Future, whether the politicians like it or not. The sooner our politicians accept this fact and learn to adapt to the Clean/Renewable Energy Age, the better off we all will be, in terms of state economy, business, individual standard of living, and our beautiful environment of state of Florida .
Therefore, it is particularly frustrating that my and your dollars spent on our utility bills are being spent on promotion for something that will potentially destroy the solar industry in Florida, the Amendment 1! So, please bear with me for continuing to post about Amendment 1, reminding Floridians to VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER !!! I may not have multi-million dollar advertising budget, but I do have Windermere Sun….so, let’s help our beloved Florida to be worthy of its name sake by spreading this message of need to Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November ! We don’t want the solar growth and solar industry to be destroyed as it did in Nevada by a similar measure in Amendment 1.
If you care about The Sunshine State and would like to insure our worthiness of this name, want to see solar industry and economy to flourish in Florida, forever be able to enjoy our wonderful air quality, and usher Florida into the Clean/Renewable Energy Age, VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER !!! Because……
Firework, by Saifon Narongrat (brought to you by WindermereSun.com)
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The votes are in. Amendment 4 passed with the vast majority of Floridians across the state voting YES to support solar power in the Sunshine State (at 73% vs. 27% margin, the measure needs 60% to win)! The victory would not have been possible without the effort of thousands of volunteers and organizations throughout Florida that worked tirelessly to get the necessary votes. Thank you for all of your dedication and support.
This is a huge step to usher the Sunshine State from being blocked
Sun blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
into the Solar Energy Age and on the way in becoming a leader in the solar industry!
Sun is shining, no longer blocked by clouds, by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Amendment 4 will help Floridians to lower energy costs by reducing the tax burden for solar equipment. With lower taxes for homeowners and businesses, more solar energy development is anticipated for Floridians to lock in energy savings, create jobs, spur economic development, and bring much needed diversity to Florida’s energy mix!
Solar Panels Reflecting the Sky, by Debbie Mous, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Growth by huntr004, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Solar Panels by Neville Mecallef, brought to you by WindermereSun.com
Now, Floridians, please remember to Vote “No” for Amendment 1 on November 8 because it’s a Trojan Horse that the utility companies are using to block further solar development. More on Amendment 1 in a future post.
Dear Fellow Floridians, for more information about Early Voting, please refer to our Previous Post . If you have any questions about voting, please call the Election Protection hotline at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682-Espanol.) Assistance is available in English or Spanish.
We, the Floridians, have been blessed with generous sunshine, residing in the SunShine State. In the August Primary, Floridian voters will have the opportunity to lower energy cost and boost future solar energy production in the Sunshine State by voting YES for Amendment 4 on the Primary Ballot. Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax. In order for Amendment 4 to become law, it must be approved by YES vote from at least 60% of the Floridian voters for the August 30 Primary Ballot.
The exact wording of Amendment 4, below (in italics):
Solar Devices or Renewable Energy Source Devices;Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment.
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037.
Firstly, ad valorem simply means in proportion to the value. So, Amendment 4 is proposing to remove the tax based on the value of the solar panels/renewable energy source devices and also to prevent the inclusion of these devices when assessing the value of the real property. This amendment, if passed, will enable solar energy in Florida to be much more affordable for every one (commercial, as well as residential), help to increase the number of solar jobs and further solar development in Florida tremendously , and at no cost to Florida’s taxpayers because these taxes are not being collected now.
As we come to the final stage of fossil fuel period in history…
as more natural disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy and Louisiana flood) occur…
and increasing suicide rate of farmers from different parts of the world (India, Australia, etc.) resulting from extreme weather conditions due to increased rate of climate change….
and the cost of solar and renewable energy and battery storage technology continues to decrease
It is our moral imperative to do everything possible in slowing down the current rate of climate change. It is also our sense of practicality that should direct us quickly toward transition into solar and renewable energy. The great irony in life is that: those of us in the developed nations have been contributing far more than those in developing nations to this dramatic increased rate of climate change. But when the chips are down, it is those in the developing nations and the poorest who will be suffering more. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. It would have been far more impactful if Amendment 4 were passed more than a decade ago. Voting YES for Amendment 4 now is the least that we can and should do. In addition to installing solar, I believe we should also be thinking of switching to electrical vehicles, recycle more, bike and walk more, eat less meat, etc. It is economical/practical and ethical to encourage the growth of solar and renewable energy in the Sunshine State!
Keep in mind that there are three ways to vote:
At the polls on August 30, 2016
Early Voting between August 15-August 28 or August 20-August 27 or……., depending on which county you are in.
By mail starting from July 26, 2016 and be sure your mail-in ballot is received by 7:00 pm on election day, August 30, 2016. So, those of you who are planning on mailing in your ballot, be sure you do so ASAP.
For those of you interested in clean energy future, you may like to know that Florida Solar Voter is a project of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy dedicated to providing all Florida voters an easy way to sign up to vote by mail. Please feel free to contact Southern Alliance For Clean Energy via 813-252-1751 or www.CleanEnergy.org .You may also be interested in visiting Floridians For Solar Choice.
Did you know that last year Costa Rica was able to run on only clean renewable energy (from hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, and biofuel) for 299 out of the 365 days in 2015? In order to get to the finish line during our marathon of transitioning toward a clean and renewable future, we need to address the issue brought up by Monica Araya of Costa Rica. It is important for us to also move onto electric transportation vehicles in order to achieve healthy and clean future for our future cities. It is important to break free from vehicles running on fossil fuel.
As the temperature arrives at its highest level since the recorded history of homo sapiens, as the suicide rate of Indian farmers and farmers from elsewhere continues to rise, and various other signs and symptoms associated with climate change picking up its respective pace, there is greater need to slow down the climate change, CO2 emission, and to speed up our transition not only to solar and renewable energy sources, but also to EV (electric vehicles). We all need to act fast! Have you started researching for your EV’s?
Is it true that the wealthy elites do not want you to go solar?
In the interview with Brendan Fischer, General Counsel of Center For Media and Democracy, Screwed News reporter commented, there is a new solar power installation every 3 minutes in United States (according to SEIA, Solar Energy Industry Association) and much of the growth of solar power is on the local level. The above is a candid discussion in why and how individual rooftop solar is seen as a threat to the centralized production business model and therefore has been running into much resistance. More in-depth discussion on various topics pertaining to distributed individual rooftop solar may be obtained from Institute For Local Self-Reliance.(such as Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Finds, Energy Self Reliant States.) As we progress from an outdated centralized utility model into a new age of more distributed and greater local self-reliant model, be it applied to power generation or broadband, I encourage any one and every one to increase understanding how important local self-reliance in these matters is. I would further implore those truly interested in the future of solar/renewable energy to have better understanding of Value of Solar, for this is a much more fair and efficient way to distribute power than Net Metering. For better understanding of Value of Solar, please refer to these posts below:
From our previous post, there was the mention of Elon Musk’s talk at the Sorbonne in 2015. Since I’ve come across several other discussions referencing this talk, I think it’d be a good idea to share this talk with you all, below:
Discussion of Climate Change, Carbon Cycle and the vertical climb within the last few hundred years: 5:10-15:47
Need To Address Climate Change Q & A: 16:18-17:27
Solar Energy As The Main Power Source : 30:50-31:40
Keep in mind that, if we wait to transition into the Renewables, the best case is postponing the inevitable transition to sustainable energy (believed by 3% of the scientists), and the worst case is more displacement and destruction than all the wars in history combined (believed by 97% of the scientists). As Elon commented, “this is the dumbest experiment in history EVER…why would you do this?!” He explains that the reason that there has been such a delay in transition into renewable/sustainable energy is because there is a hidden carbon subsidy (there is an annual $5.3 trillion subsidies for fossil fuels industry, according to IMF, International Monetary Fund) on all of the carbon emitting activities. Therefore, there is 35 gigatons of CO2 emissions per year from fossil fuels into our earth’s atmosphere,
Elon Musk’s Talk at Sorbonne-Atmospheric CO2 chart readings at Mauna LOA Observatory
equating to not paying for garbage collections. Of course, due to the existence of such a huge subsidy, there is great amount of resistance to removing the subsidy for fossil fuel or carbon emitters. He continues to explain the need for revenue-neutral carbon tax (carbon tax + tax cut somewhere else), ideally in a phased-in approach.
Elon Musk’s Talk at Sorbonne-Carbon Cycle1
03:34. Carbon cycle & temperature rise 08.10. Fossil Fuels Era 10:44. Carbon Tax
Elon Musk’s Talk at Sorbonne-Carbon Cycle3
16:18. Importance of climate change 17:35. Effectiveness of incentives 19:50. Storing CO2 21:07. Lithium availability 22:30. Tesla PowerPack big projects 24:13. Government role 26:43. Colonising Mars 27:52. Future energy sources 29:16. Nuclear fission / Nuclear Fusion 31:45. Advices to energy entrepreneurs 33:22. Government incentives 35:00. Artificial Intelligence 36:22. Fund raising challenges (Tesla insight)
38:54. Changing society energy behaviour 41:19. Green energy lobbying 45:55. COP21 in Paris 46:50. Getting CO2-dependent countries on-board 49:21. Batteries carbon footprint 51:50. Sustainable future roadmap
We all need to talk to our policy makers about Sustainable Future, Carbon Tax, and policies that will speed up the transition toward our Renewable/Sustainable Future! So Let’s Do It! Did you know that states (such as CA, HI, and CO) within USA and countries (such as Germany) within EU that are more progressive with their renewable energy policy all have much lower unemployments rates than those that are not progressive with their renewable energy policy?
Sunshine of Hawaii (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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I’ve received a call from some one in Hawaii today, mentioning the likelihood/resistance of NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger . It’s been months since I last read up on Hawaiian Electric Co., a quick research made me realize that even though both Hawaii and Nevada are going through growing pains, showing similar signs and symptoms, but their pains actually have very different root causes. In Nevada, the Nevada PUC (Public Utilities Commission) is reacting to the solar growth by implementing policy to stifle the distributed solar rooftops, without considering Value of Solar (the most fair way for consumers and power generators alike) or potential long term consequences for NV Energy. But in Hawaii, the Hawaii PUC (Public Utilities Commission) actually has established reforms through a collaborative process that will support further sustainable growth in the market for rooftop solar systems and other distributed energy resources (“DER”) desired by Hawaii’s residents and businesses.
View from a Hawaiian island, Kauai (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
For better understanding of Hawaii PUC’s Reform Energy Programs issued on Oct. 12, 2015 , please click HERE. This order will promote rapid adoption of the next generation of solar PV and other distributed energy technologies, encourage more competitive pricing of DER systems, lower overall energy supply costs for all customers, and help to manage each island grid’s scarce capacity. The Commission views distributed energy resources (including rooftop solar PV) as an important contributor to meeting the state’s 100% renewable energy goal, complemented by the recently enacted community-based renewable legislation and larger utility-scale projects (source: from http://www.puc.hawaii.gov).
One important element needs to be understood and appreciated by all is the fact that as more and more people install solar, in any form, the value of solar will be lowered. Since Hawaii does want to have a fair system that would be inclusive as well as ensuring all customers to benefit from continued growth in distributed solar energy, the rate needs to be re-evaluated periodically to reflect the actual Value of Solar (fair way of valuing solar for all) that changes with time. As more solar installations are in place, the NEM (Net Energy Metering) is no longer as feasible because it will not be valuing solar fairly for all. If there should be any displeasure resulting from the fact that NEM is on its way out when the possibility of NextEra-Hawaiian Electric merger is being discussed, that is purely Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc or post hoc fallacy: a simple example of this phenomenon–> the rooster crows immediately before sunrise;therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise. It is not surprising that the Hawaii PUC has proposed caps on the NEM program, for NEM is on its way out simply because it has already served its useful purpose and now requires some enhancement in order to be fair for all. If Hawaii PUC does not place caps on NEM, then Hawaiian residents who install solar may fall into the trap similar to Nevada residents who install solar, ending up with a monthly fixed surcharge.
“Self-Supply” systems: for customers that primarily intend to consume all of the energy produced by their solar system onsite at their home or business, and do not need to export excess energy to the grid. These systems will typically be designed to use energy management and energy storage systems to balance onsite generation with demand. With these advanced features, self-supply systems have reduced technical impact on the grid and will receive expedited interconnection review. At this time, there is no cap on the number of Self-Supply systems that may be installed.
“Grid-Supply” systems: this will allow customers to export excess energy to the grid as needed, and customers will receive energy credits on their monthly bills, similar to the NEM program. The Grid-Supply option does reduce the credit rate for energy exported to the grid for participating customers, and as a result, it will reduce the overall cost of each island’s renewable energy portfolio, which benefits all customers (including those who do not have the ability to install DER). The lower credit rate for energy exported to the grid reflects the Commission’s commitment to achieve an affordable, cost-effective energy supply for all customers. There is a cap on the total capacity of Grid-Supply systems to ensure each island grid can accommodate GridSupply systems, complemented by community-based renewable projects, and lowercost utility-scale projects.
“Time-of-Use” tariffs: – The Commission has also directed the HECO Companies to develop a new, expanded time-of-use tariff that allows customers to save money by shifting energy demand to the middle of the day to take advantage of lower-cost solar energy. Initially, this tariff will be available for any residential customers that opt-in to the program. By sending the right price signals to customers, customers can increase energy demand during times of high solar supply and alleviate some of the grid constraints to further renewable integration. This new tariff will also spur investment into new “smart home” and “smart business” technologies that can help customers take advantage of this program.
*The time-of-use tariff of Hawaii is similar to the Value of Solar that’s been discussed in various discussions with Karl Rabago, below:
Karl Rabago’s comments about NEM and Value of Solar Tariff/Time of Use Tariff, below:
This is a continuation from the previous post, by Karl Rabago, on the Value of Solar, in Boulder, Colorado. This talk explores many issues associated within solar industry and is very timely and relevant. With more than 25 years of experience in policy and regulation, energy market and energy technology development, Karl Rabago brings us in-depth insight. He now operates an energy consulting practice, Rabago Energy LLC, providing strategic policy, regulatory and market development consulting in the clean and innovative energy sectors. He is serving as the Chair of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that advances voluntary clean energy markets, and sits on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Without further ado, Karl Rabago in Boulder, CO, talks about Value of Solar, Beyond Value of Solar (where Value of 4S’s-Storage, Smarts, Security, Savings), and Ideal Distributed Solar Tariff are also discussed, below:
Now for the Q & A session after Karl’s talk, below: