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Clean Power petition solar power california solar installation

Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Petition: Let Californians Oversize Their Solar Power Systems

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July 7th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan 

One of our readers has dropped a noteworthy petition in our comments a few times. I wanted to give it a bit more attention, since I know that the large majority of readers never make it down to the comments. The gist of the petition is to let Californians oversize their renewable energy systems (most notably, their solar power systems) and sell any electricity back to the grid for 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The petition goal is 1,000 signatures. It has 932 as I’m writing this. The petition will be delivered to the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utility Commission, and Governor Jerry Brown

The petition statement is as follows:

The California Feed in Tariff allows eligible customers’ generators to enter into 10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts with their utility companies to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy systems. Let California home owners take advantage of the Feed in Tariff, allowing them to over-size their solar systems.

And background, from the petition page, is as follows:

California law does not allow home owners to size their Solar systems larger than what they use. In order to get the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate, the customer is not allowed to install a system that inherently over-produces more than what is needed for his home.

The Feed-in Tariff can not be earned if you receive a rebate from your utility company for solar panels or if you are participating in other utility solar incentives programs such as the CSI. It also can not be earned if you are participating in net metering, which only pays one time a year under the AB 920 California Solar Surplus Act.

Our Feed-In Tariff should mirror Germany, Japan, Vermont, Los Angeles County Ca. and Hawaii where residential FIT is 13 cents – 37 cents per kilowatt hour.

The California Public Utility commission can change the FIT to payment levels that are differentiated appropriately, and distribute the solution to all tax-paying citizens who should not be deliberately handcuffed. Residential homeowners should be allowed to oversize their Renewable Energy systems and participate in the State mandated goal to achieve 33% Renewable Energy by 2020

“Examples of how they (and our complicit energy “experts”) have been “slowing the process” are:

(1) Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) which create de facto caps on the deployment of renewable energies. (The Germans don’t have any RPSs. Their FIT program is open ended, the more capacity, the merrier!)

(2) Net-metering caps. Most states only allow a small percentage of one to two percent of peak load to be net-metered. There are exceptions however. Colorado, for example, has no aggregate capacity limit. However, most states do. Net-metering, therefore, will certainly “hold back the clean energy tide.”

(3) The third party leasing rent-to-own outfits like Sungevity, but more importantly, Solarcity, which just went public with an IPO, fight tooth and nail to protect scarce capacity carveouts (from the state RPSs) so as to bolster their chosen business models as the expense of all others. The same goes for the utility-scale folks. The in-fighting, due in part to the small de facto caps of the RPSs, have significantly slowed the deployment of renewables in the U.S.

(4) Most importantly is how we connect distributed renewable energies to the grid in the U.S., the most salient difference between the American net-metering program and the German feed-in tariff is that net-metering is *retail* energy whereas the FIT is *wholesale* energy. Thus, net-metering does little more than offset onsite loads and in the process it shifts the rate burdens of lost customers onto other ratepayers. Those rate burdens also include all of the utility’s overhead as well since compensation is at the retail rate. A FIT, on the other hand, as wholesale energy feeds the energy directly into the electric grid, and because it is must take wholesale energy it must be used first, and in many cases it will off set more expensive energies found on the grid, such as peaker plant power,spinning reserves and so forth saving rate payers money.” Bob Tregilus.

Due to these laws, we have automatically taken out over 8 million roof tops, that would generate over 11,500MW of power, thats 5 San Onofre nuclear power plants.

We need to let our tax paying, Home Owning citizens in on a Feed in Tariff, and allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy Systems.

In the spirit of Bill McKibben and 350.org for our children and eaarth, lets make real global sustaining changes for all of us.

We are buying and selling clean air, all inhaling life sustaining pollution free air.

Dirty kilowatt vs Clean Kilowatt, what kind of air do you want to breath ?

The Feed in Tariff will address Global Warming, which is causing Climate Change.

Head on over to the petition page and sign it right now!

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • aiya

    With the increasing cost of energy, the solar power systems is a very good alternative. It might cost you a little at first upon purchase but the benefit that you can get from it as the time goes is worth it. There are things that you should know first before purchasing the system. This article is very helpful if you are thinking of buying one.

  • azaredaniel

    Hi Zackary, I am posting the front side of the petition, because this is what people first read, then they click onto the link and read the background which does need some work, thank you. “Right now the course of our future is being set by the fossil fuel industry, the most powerful corporations in the history of the world, and they’re steering us off a cliff into a raging inferno. They fight each day to blow up more mountains for coal, demolish more land and oceans for oil and shatter more of the ground beneath our feet by fracking for oil and gas with a cocktail of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind. With each passing day that these interests set our course, with every additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted like a poison in our atmosphere, the drier the ink becomes on the bleak future written by the fossil fuel industry.

    That future is one where oceans drown our coastal homes and cities, where biodiversity is diminished. It’s a future where droughts will parch our agricultural fields and allow wildfires to run rampant. It’s a future where clean, freshwater will be among the world’s scarcest resources, and where smog and pollution suffocate our lungs and the planet’s.

    Given the fossil fuel industry’s seemingly unlimited money and political influence, changing their course and taking control of our future is a tall order. But again, we must. And all of you, can make the choices that lead you to seize that control.
    I can tell you how significant a difference each of us can make, how important the choices we make can be and the power we have in this country.” John Armstrong.

    “The motivation and the goals of Germany’s unprecedented solar policy are neither a secret nor hard to research (EEG 2004, Article 1). For decades, the main problem of solar had been identified as it being too expensive to deploy. But, at the same time, only deployment and mass production would lead to significant cost reductions. To overcome this barrier, the German parliament adapted the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) in 2004 to incentivize the installation of solar PV systems, thus creating the first uncapped mass market for solar power. It was the goal to reduce the technology’s cost through deployment, innovation, and market forces within the solar industry. The plan has succeeded a lot faster than anticipated and the cost of PV is expected to decline by at least another 50% by 2020.” Paul Gipe.

    The Feed in Tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in Renewable Energy, the California FiT allows eligible customers generators to enter into 10- 15- 20- year contracts with their utility company to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy, and guarantees that anyone who generates electricity from R E source, whether homeowner, small business, or large utility, is able to sell that electricity. It is mandated by the State to produce 33% R E by 2020.

    FIT policies can be implemented to support all renewable technologies including:
    Wind
    Photovoltaics (PV)
    Solar thermal
    Geothermal
    Biogas
    Biomass
    Fuel cells
    Tidal and wave power.

    So long as the payment levels are differentiated appropriately, FIT policies can increase development in a number of different technology types over a wide geographic area. At the same time, they can contribute to local job creation and increased clean energy development in a variety of different technology sectors.

    FIT policies are successful around the world, notably in Europe. This suggests that they will continue to grow in importance in the United States, especially as evidence mounts about their effectiveness as framework for promoting renewable energy development and job creation.

    With the worlds carbon levels at 400-410 parts per million and rising, globally emitting over 32 Gigatons of CO2 each year, causing Global Warming and life changing pollution, Renewable Energy will address these issues and start us on the road back to 350 parts per million of carbon, Thank You Bill McKibben.

    California law does not allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems.

    Allowing homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems, is a true capitalistic tool, that will give us the potential to challenge the utility monopolies, democratize energy generation and transform millions of homes and small business into energy generators, during Sandy, Solar homes where not utilized to their full potential, because there was no disconnect and or transfer switch, to turn off incoming grid and start in home Solar power. how comforting it would be, to have mandatory transfer switches on all residential and small business renewable energy installations.

    We don’t even take into account the tremendous health cost to us and our planet, when we burn oil, coal, and natural gas, which would make them more expensive than Renewable Energy.

    Since 2000-2001, according to the California Energy Commission, power plants with maximum output totaling about 20,000 megawatts have become operational. An additional 3,900 megawatts are under construction and 4,700 more have been approved and are in pre-construction phases.

    The new plants should boost California’s energy independence. The state currently produces about 71% of the electricity it consumes, while it imports 8% from the Pacific Northwest and 21% from the Southwest.

    Natural gas was burned to make 45.3% of California’s power generated in-state in 2011. Nuclear power from San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County accounted for 18.3%, large hydropower 18.3%, renewable 16.6% and coal 1.6%.

    We need a National Feed in Tariff, for Renewable Energy, with laws that level the playing field, this petition starts with homeowners in California.

    Japan, Germany, and our state of Hawaii, will pay residents between 21- 47 cents per kilowatt hour, here in California they will pay a commercial FiT in a few counties at 17 cents per kilowatt hour, No Residential FiT and they wont let us oversize our Residential Renewable Energy systems.

    Want to change our Feed in Tariff? Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition?

    http://signon.org/sign/let-california-home-owners

  • http://www.sierranevadasolar.com/ LA Solar Power

    Those rebates are running out. How quickly can this petition be signed and passed before the rebates are gone?

    • azaredaniel

      The rebates will surely go and the initial per kilowatt hour will be in the ball park of 15 – 17 cents per kilowatt hour, then go down over time, where it will settle in at 2-3 cents below what ever your utility is charging you in the first Tier.

  • anderlan

    If solar sold for 25c/kwh in my state I’d go out and get a loan to start an installation company THIS AFTERNOON.

    • azaredaniel

      Germany, Spain, Japan, and Hawaii, are a few Countries and a State who used the Feed in Tariff to accelerate market demand, and it worked, here in California where LA, Palo Alto, and Sacramento have Commercial Feed in Tariffs that currently pay 17 cents per kilowatt hour, and with Third party leasing, we have to jump into the game at current levels

  • Tom G.

    Today it looks like the Western ISO grid is going to peak at about 41,000 MW. Solar and other renewables are just beginning to come online and will probably peak out at about 3,300 MW today based on historical data.

    http://www.caiso.com/Pages/TodaysOutlook.aspx

    So it appears to me that if solar and other renewable were available, they COULD be filling the gap between the minimum grid level of about 24,000 MW [baseload] and the maximum grid [peak demand] of 41,000 MW. And we already have lots of backup generation so that is certainly not a problem.

    So from my perspective, while California is making very good progress developing and using clean renewable energy they have one heck of a long way to go. If renewables like solar, wind and geothermal were available, we could be feeding in at least 20,000 MW today.

    So I say – build it and they will come California – it can certainly be used.

    • azaredaniel

      Right On Tom, good information, did you get a chance to sign the petition ?

  • Steeple

    25 cts? Why not 50 or 75? Since none of them are based on market, just pick any number. And enough with the Hawaii argument since they have no natural gas.

    If you want to be taken seriously, propose the buy back occur at the marginal market price averaged over time. Otherwise, you just look like someone asking for another handout.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Or base it on carbon emissions avoided and the cost of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Here in Australia I can remove CO2 from the atmosphere for about $100 a tonne, although I think it’s possible to get the costs lower. At $100 a tonne a kilowatt-hour of rooftop solar electricity supplied to the grid avoids about 85 cents worth CO2 in Australia. Of course it should be more efficient to just put a price on carbon instead, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be about to happen just at the moment in the US, so you might have to settle for things such subsidising low emission electricity. A less efficient approach, but much better than doing nothing given the high cost of doing nothing.

      • azaredaniel

        California has a cap and trade program, it started in Nov 2012 and their first auction sold a ton of C02 for $10.50, second Feb $13.62, and May $14.04, they have made over $802 million dollars to be divided, $556 million to help keep Energy prices down goes to the Utilites, and $256 million goes fro Green investment for California, are you shocked at the price per ton ? and that is based on only 50 million tons sold. Information by Clean Technica

        • Ronald Brakels

          Azaredaniel, putting a price on carbon, either through an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax is the most efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions. But the carbon price per tonne is not the same as the cost of removing a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere.

          • azaredaniel

            Ronald, we need both a carbon tax and a Feed in Tariff, that covers, energy companies, third party leasing, commercial and homeowners, in order to address the 400ppm of carbon in ouratmosphere.

    • azaredaniel

      The 25 cents per kilowatt hour is off the table, 15 17 cents per kilowatt hour is the current number not reflected in the petition, there will also be a sliding down scale for cents per kilowatt hour, based on the percent of our capacity filled, to eventually settle at 2 or 3 cents below the cost of the first tier in your area.

  • Anothercoilgun

    Wait wait wait. There is some law (LOL) limiting the size of solar on your property? And its based on need? Never knew this and as if I cared. When I reach up to 5KW I become a bad evil dirty low life scum criminal because 5KW is about what I use with a 2 ton HVAC system? Now if I increase the tonnage of my AC system will I morph back into a productive member of society? How about added a few 50 inch tvs in the mix just for good measure to keep me out of the slave wage correctional system.

    • Tom G.

      Just a couple of minor comments since I love talking about energy consumption. You are correct that air conditioning units are a big energy consumer. For example, I have a 3 1/2 ton Lennox heat pump on my home and it uses 3.51 kW per hour. I also have two LCD TV’s that use almost nothing when compared to many other home appliances. The TV industry has done a wonderful job of reducing energy consumption of the flat panel.

      The biggest energy hog in my home is my electric dryer. It is connected to a 30 amp, 240 volt circuit and draws about 3.0 kW every hour it operates. Not only that the stupid thing draws air from WITHIN.

  • Jim Nelson

    Proposals that are better written and less incoherent are likely to attract more signatures and, if submitted, more intelligent debate. From point 4) on, it’s a nonsensical rant. I consider myself green, but literate green.

    • piwifaquzehy

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

      Wait wait wait. There is some
      law (LOL) limiting the size of solar on your property? And its based on
      need? Never knew this and as if I cared. When I reach up to 5KW I
      become a bad evil dirty low life scum criminal because 5KW is about what
      I use with a 2 ton HVAC system? Now if I increase the tonnage of my AC
      system will I morph back into a productive member of society? How
      about added a few 50 inch tvs in the mix just for good measure to keep
      me out of the slave wage correctional system.

    • azaredaniel

      Is there any paragraph or sentence that you did not understand ? What was incomprehensible or confusing for you ? this format was the first, i am in the process of tightening it up, 3, 5, 7th rewrite will get better. thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • azaredaniel

      Hello Jim, scroll down a little and you will read the first page of the petition, after being exposed to the whole proposal, does it change your comment ?

  • Wayne Williamson

    One thing to keep in mind when they mention Hawaii, is that electricity runs over 40 cents a kilowatt….

  • Shiggity

    Distributed generation vs. incumbent utilities. (Boxing announcer voice) LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE. Seriously though, it’s going to be a bloodbath.

    • azaredaniel

      It feels that way some times, but its the first round, commercial Feed in tariff is working in LA, Palo Alto and Sacramento, paying 17 cents per kilowatt hour, that is a fight we have won, know it is time for the Home owner to fight Global Waring and Climate Change and have a piece of the revenue stream for saving or retirement. will you join the fight and sign the petition ?

  • David15

    Amazing need for green, renewable energy promoted, but the impediments. IQ of these control egos must me approaching 10?????????????????//

  • jburt56

    It’s survival of the FITtest!!!

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