Posts Tagged ‘solar rebate’

6 December

India’s Answer to Rachel Maddow’s Comment on the Sunshine State

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Rachel Maddow's Comment on the "Where The Sun Don't Shine"

Rachel Maddow’s Comment on the “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”

This weekend, some of our friends have been sending me clip of a Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”, commenting on Florida state legislators’  measures. Below (italics) is part of the transcript of Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine” that I would like to address:

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Florida, is, technically speaking, the Sunshine State. That is their official state nickname and they do not mean it as a metaphor. They meant it as a founding principle, a main  attraction of what Florida is. The Florida Department of Citrus has a new branded Avengers Character called Captain Citrus. Captain Citrus runs on Solar Power. The circle on his hands are solar pods. Maybe it’s my solar pods but you’re going down. Florida is so much the Sunshine State  that the whole ad campaign for the city of Ft. Lauderdale is called “Find Your Sunny” and you can find Ft. Lauderdale at sunny.org  Explore your sunny side in Sunshine State. So now naturally because it’s  Florida that Florida has declared war on the Sun, even if it still wants to be known as the Sunshine State. This past week, very quietly, just before Thanksgiving, Florida, incredibly, decided to try to kill solar power in the state of Florida, they voted to kill entirely the solar rebate program in the state for installing solar panels. At the same time they told the state power companies that they can basically stop their efforts to conserve energy. Maddow then proceeded to show the decrease in Florida’s goal for energy conservation, below (between 2009 and 2014)

Rachel Maddow's chart on FL conservation goal between 2009 and 2014

Rachel Maddow’s chart on FL conservation goal between 2009 and 2014

 

and they killed the program for solar power in the Sunshine State.

Power companies, the utilities, make money by selling power. The more power you use, the more power they can sell you, and therefore the more money they make. If you make the power yourself from the Sun, the solar panels on your roof, or if you/they/any one uses less power, then they (utility companies) will sell less power and make less money. So, right now, at the request of the utility companies, right before Thanksgiving, very quietly, Florida just decided to stop conserving energy as a state policy. They’re no longer going to try to even do that…and they’ve decided to completely unplug from the sun in the Sunshine State. It’s amazing….I don’t know what Captain Citrus is going to do, but I think Captain Citrus is not going to be happy about this…when this quiet news will be coming out…..

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Essentially there are two issues that are being addressed:

I. Cutting the Solar Rebate program: In reality, the Florida Solar Rebate program had not been funded for quite a few years already. Having an empty promise in solar rebate program hurts the solar policy or solar installations more than not having it at all (for many Floridians have chosen to wait to install solar in the future, when  the solar rebate program will be funded,  instead of installing now). So having it (empty or not-funded solar rebate program) off the books actually is a service for the Floridians. What we do need is better  solar/renewable energy policy and goal, as I’ve been trying to gather interest (supplemented with petition and interviews of various energy experts) in: http://www.sunisthefuture.net/2014/09/24/let-the-sunshine-in-the-sunshine-state/

II.Cutting the Energy Efficiency goal: As Ms. Maddow succinctly puts it, “power companies make money by selling power”, and therefore is not naturally incentivized to ask its customers to conserve energy use.  Expecting the power companies to voluntarily offer energy efficiency program is like asking some one else to do what I think is ethically correct while  asking that some one else to pay for it and I am not. If energy efficiency program is to be carried out, it should not be involving the power companies . We would also need to be prepared for rate hikes as what’s been happening in all of the states that have been very successful with their energy efficiency programs (i.e. CA, MA, RI, VT, OR, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a)

Finally, I think the most efficient route is what’s being implemented in India, using carbon tax to fund clean, renewable energy (more details will be found in our next post). Right now, India has doubled its coal tax to 100 rupees per ton and will use the money generated for projects that would boost the country’s (India’s) solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020. So, if Floridians do not want to spend more on energy efficiency or solar rebate programs, then simply tax the carbon producers and use the yield to fund clean energy such as Solar and Wind or energy efficiency program. Then we may rightfully maintain our nickname as the SunShine State without having to tighten our belts. I think Captain Citrus will then approve.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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29 March

Kauai Leading the Way For Solar in Hawaii

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Dear Readers,

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Friends & Readers,

Today, I want to take you to an island where more than seventy Hollywood movies and TV shows had been featured (including the musical  South Pacific,  television series Lilo & Stitch, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark, Six Days Seven Nights, the 2005 remake of King Kong, John Ford 1963 film Donovan’s Reef, Tropic Thunder, a scene in opening credit of popular TV show M*A*S*H (helicopter flying over mountain top), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, parts of the 2002 film Dragonfly, major parts of 1966 Elvis Presley film Paradise, Hawaiian Style, and the recently released The Descendants (featuring George Clooney as the lead actor), etc.  Now, do you have the name of the island at the tip of your tongue?  If you are thinking about the oldest and the fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands also known as the “Garden Isle”, then you are on the right track!  At about 105 miles (169 km) northwest of O’ahu, across the Kauai Channel, is the site of Waimea Canyon State Park, also known as the Kauai island of Hawaii.

Idyllic Garden Isle of Kauai, with swaying palms, mountains, beautiful clouds, and taro pond (Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Beautiful sunset of Kauai (Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I came and spent about a week at this Garden Isle, Kauai, not just for its idyllic scenery and laid back island pace of life, but also to visit its various solar installations, the largest system of its kind in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii’s imported energy costs are three times higher, and will soon to be close to  four times higher than the mainland.  With its tropical location providing lots of sunshine, it is no wonder that Hawaii has great  motivation to become one of the highest users of solar energy among our fifty states.  Currently Hawaii solar incentives include generous rebates for solar electric and solar hot water systems.  Combining with Federal solar rebates, the solar panel installations for residents and businesses in Hawaii would cost approximately 65% less.  Please refer to this link for Hawaii’s energy tax credit, solar rebates, and incentives.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) spends tens of millions of dollars for oil to power generators each year to make electricity for approximately 60,000 residents and tourists on the island.  When oil prices increase they have no option but to pay even more.  Generating electricity from clean and renewable sources make much better sense financially and environmentally.  In 2010-2011, REC Solar completed the designing, procuring, and managing the installation of a 1.21 MW ground mounted photovoltaic system on 5 acres of non-productive agricultural land above old Kapaa Town on the windward side of Kauai.  It was the largest system of its kind in the state of Hawaii and in Kauai at the time (2011).  Here is a video clip about this project, below:

The project partners KIUC and Kapaa  Solar LLC, who financed the system and negotiated a power purchased agreement (PPA) with KIUC.  “KIUC has long acknowledged that significant investments in additional renewable energy generation will be required for us to achieve our strategic goals of being 50 percent renewable by 2023,” said KIUC Acting President and CEO David Bissell.  “This first utility-scale solar farm on Kauai allows us the opportunity to determine and better understand the physical limitations of high penetration PV on a distribution circuit and to work through some specific technicalities associated with adding large scale intermittent renewables to our generation mix.”  The system will produce an estimated 1.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy annually, enough energy to power close to 300 Kauai homes for one year. This solar system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40,000 tons throughout the first 30 years of the system’s life.  Please stay tuned in for  more on solar energy project in Kauai in the next post.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

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