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tdgeek
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  #1835609 2-Aug-2017 11:44
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tripper1000:

 

tdgeek:

 

 

 

... WE dont need new dams, we need a big push on solar and EV..... 

 

 

Hey man, don't dis dams.

 

For any solution to succeed and perpetuate it must be economically viable. The reason why hydro is the dominate renewable resource world wide is because it is economical and is (or was here) commercially viable.

 

Solar is not economical, and is only popular (overseas) due to subsidies. History has shown us that as soon a subsides disappear the behaviour they encourage frequently also disappears. Solar has gotten cheaper due to mass-manufacturing encouraged by foreign subsidies. Once foreign subsidies and demand tapers off, solar will likely go back up in price here.

 

Dams also compliment cyclic renewables (wind/solar/tide) as a highly effective energy storage solution beating any and all batteries made or in design so far, so are important regardless. 

 

The RMA has been used to block the construction of new dams. People who block hydro frequently pass them selves off as environmentalists, however I for one are extremely dubious of their environmental claims. Anyone who cares about the global environment and wants to be a decent global citizen should be embracing commercially viable renewable energy.

 

 

 

 

Hey man :-)

 

I dont diss dams, although those that do complain about flooding the beauty and history we have here. And yes, I am very greebn as far as renewables are concerned.

 

My take was that I thought, clearly incorrectly, based on your and Andrew's post, that solar is the way to go. Domestically and commercially it can reduce power costs, good for the economy, and reduce the drain on hydro, allowing hydro to cater better, and also to allow all renewables to pick up soem slack as EV takes off.

 

I have solar HW, it was $8k in 2010, love it. My ex mother in law has Solar PV no batteries, unsure of kW a coup,le of years ago, my mate who I will get details has a 10KW Solar PV. I thought there was a reasonable number here with PV too, bit it seems to not stack up at all?

 

 


tdgeek
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  #1835612 2-Aug-2017 11:51
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Aredwood:

 

tdgeek:

 

MarkH67:

 

I'd be all for banning sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2040 and also making our energy production 100% from renewables by that year too. We need to ensure we have enough hydro, geothermal, wind & solar generation so we can decommission any remaining gas, oil or coal plants.

 

The way I see it: switching to clean electricity generation goes hand in hand with promoting EVs. There may be some benefit to moving pollution out of big cities but not as much benefit as outright reducing pollution.

 

 

We are a small country. Thats makes it easier to change. We are already 80% renewable but our Govt has us penciled in to 2050 to achieve that. Rubbish. Another 33 years??? WE dont need new dams, we need a big push on solar and EV. Individuals and businesses can add their own renewables, EV can feed off that, and no need to add new hydro. WE have a huge fusion reactor 93 million miles away, its there for another 5 billion years, and we still fluff around. 

 

Edit: when I type this type of post I sound like a redneck with grandiose ideas, but its old old ideas that this fancy human race wont use. Or the Govts wont push. 

 

 

Solar is still incredibility expensive compared to hydro. Waitaha power scheme - $100mill build cost , 10-20MW output = $5 to $10 per watt of generating capacity. I was quoted $13,495 for a 2KW solar system with 2.4KW/Hr of li-ion battery storage. Including inverter, PV dirvetor to use excess generation for water heating and installation. Installers claim that I would self consume over 95% of solar generated power.

 

Lets assume the system lasts for 20 years without needing any repairs and it maintains it's performance for that whole time. The company said that the panels should generate 2682KW/Hr of power per year.

 

Install cost divided by 20 years. Then yearly cost divided by yearly generation = 25.1c per unit cost for power from my solar and battery system.

 

My power company is Flick Electric. Taking my most expensive bill by far which covers crazy wholesale prices (some time periods the price was over $1 per unit!!!) That bill was 25.8c per unit (not including fixed daily fees) And if I pick a random earlier bill (from March) I paid 13.2c per unit.

 

Also the 3 cheapest power companies in my area - Electric Kiwi, Pulse Energy, and Flick electric. None of them AFAIK support grid connect solar. meaning you have to either switch to a more expensive power company, or get a solar system that by design is impossible for it to export power - basicly an off grid design system. Or a UPS style system that has has solar added onto it.

 

I am still planning to install a small solar system on my house. But will have to DIY it, And it will definitely be an impossible to export by design system.

 

 

Essentially, you're saying solar isn't worth it, as easier and less hassle to use the grid, power cost wise? Unless you had a desire to insure against a power cut, or in your case, you can make it viable via DIY cost reduction?

 

Me, I have looked at it as, spend $X, save money year on year, I often hear a payback of 10 years, maybe less, thats 10%, not bad, plus after 10 years its still there, generating away. Not including any maintenance allowance though.


 
 
 
 


Aredwood
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  #1836163 3-Aug-2017 02:22
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tdgeek:

 

 

 

 

 

Essentially, you're saying solar isn't worth it, as easier and less hassle to use the grid, power cost wise? Unless you had a desire to insure against a power cut, or in your case, you can make it viable via DIY cost reduction?

 

Me, I have looked at it as, spend $X, save money year on year, I often hear a payback of 10 years, maybe less, thats 10%, not bad, plus after 10 years its still there, generating away. Not including any maintenance allowance though.

 

 

Sure, there are some situations where solar does save money for an end customer. The problem is where those savings come from. As for most people who get grid connect solar, they are on low user power plans. Those plans have very low fixed fees, and high per unit costs. Far higher than raw wholesale power costs. Long term average wholesale cost is 7.5c per KW/Hr. Would you get solar if you only had to pay 7.5c per KW/hr instead of 20c to 30c + per unit? The difference is mostly lines company fees.

 

Now look at how lines companies calculate how to set their fees. They have strict revenue caps, so they forecast how many power connections they will supply, and total amount of electricity that will flow through their network for the year ahead. They then use those amounts to set their charges, so their revenue will match the allowed amount.

 

Now imagine that 50% of their customer get solar, and those people use 50% less power on average. Total allowed revenue will be the same, so charges will go up alot. And most of those increased charges will be paid for by people who don't have solar.

 

Now LPG costs approx 16c per kW/hr, and diesel approx 18c per KW/hr. So the more solar that gets installed, the cheaper it is to use fossil fuels for energy instead of mostly renewable electricity. And people who can't get solar are mostly in rental properties and on low income. So poor people are subsiding the rich. And the pricing structures are encouraging more fossil fuel usage.

 

To remove that burden from poorer people - remember the so called "solar tax" in Hawkes bay? And remember the fuss that was kicked up when power companies dropped the buyback rates that they pay people for solar generation? All of the people who complained forgot that their solar systems would still work the same, and reduce carbon emissions by the same amount. But no, it was all about the money.

 

So if you are going to get solar - consider what would happen if the remaining indirect subsidies via lines fees were to be removed. Supposedly MBIE is currently reviewing electricity pricing structures.

 

In my case - I have lots of Samoan friends. Who will be watching my solar build, as my purposed system design and size will be perfect for use in Samoa. (as well as other similar Pacific Islands). So if my solar system is no longer useful to me in NZ, It can go to a new home in Samoa. Also in Samoa, electricity is more expensive. And depending on which Island is either 60% diesel generated or 100% diesel generated.

 

 [edited to add]

 

Read the pricing methodology published by the lines company that serves your house. It will explain in great detail how the lines company calculates their fees. And you will then be able to see the problems that will be caused by mass uptake of solar.

 

I have been wanting to see proper reform of electricity charging structures for ages. To remove the indirect subsidies for both solar and fossil fuels. Otherwise you just get lots of "uneconomic bypass" as people make large investments to take advantage of indirect subsidies. And those people then complain bitterly when those subsidies are removed.






NzBeagle
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  #1836167 3-Aug-2017 06:27
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Last day for feedback on 'T2 Lane' access for EVs in Auckland

 

http://www.nzta.govt.nz/about-us/consultations/auckland-electric-vehicles-phase-2-trial-bylaw-2017/


kingdragonfly
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  #1836820 3-Aug-2017 20:04
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ecoTEC 12: NZ's Record Breaking EV Sales, Volkswagen Undercut Tesla


tdgeek
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  #1836915 4-Aug-2017 05:46
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Aredwood:

 

tdgeek:

 

 

 

 

 

Essentially, you're saying solar isn't worth it, as easier and less hassle to use the grid, power cost wise? Unless you had a desire to insure against a power cut, or in your case, you can make it viable via DIY cost reduction?

 

Me, I have looked at it as, spend $X, save money year on year, I often hear a payback of 10 years, maybe less, thats 10%, not bad, plus after 10 years its still there, generating away. Not including any maintenance allowance though.

 

 

Sure, there are some situations where solar does save money for an end customer. The problem is where those savings come from. As for most people who get grid connect solar, they are on low user power plans. Those plans have very low fixed fees, and high per unit costs. Far higher than raw wholesale power costs. Long term average wholesale cost is 7.5c per KW/Hr. Would you get solar if you only had to pay 7.5c per KW/hr instead of 20c to 30c + per unit? The difference is mostly lines company fees.

 

Now look at how lines companies calculate how to set their fees. They have strict revenue caps, so they forecast how many power connections they will supply, and total amount of electricity that will flow through their network for the year ahead. They then use those amounts to set their charges, so their revenue will match the allowed amount.

 

Now imagine that 50% of their customer get solar, and those people use 50% less power on average. Total allowed revenue will be the same, so charges will go up alot. And most of those increased charges will be paid for by people who don't have solar.

 

Now LPG costs approx 16c per kW/hr, and diesel approx 18c per KW/hr. So the more solar that gets installed, the cheaper it is to use fossil fuels for energy instead of mostly renewable electricity. And people who can't get solar are mostly in rental properties and on low income. So poor people are subsiding the rich. And the pricing structures are encouraging more fossil fuel usage.

 

To remove that burden from poorer people - remember the so called "solar tax" in Hawkes bay? And remember the fuss that was kicked up when power companies dropped the buyback rates that they pay people for solar generation? All of the people who complained forgot that their solar systems would still work the same, and reduce carbon emissions by the same amount. But no, it was all about the money.

 

So if you are going to get solar - consider what would happen if the remaining indirect subsidies via lines fees were to be removed. Supposedly MBIE is currently reviewing electricity pricing structures.

 

In my case - I have lots of Samoan friends. Who will be watching my solar build, as my purposed system design and size will be perfect for use in Samoa. (as well as other similar Pacific Islands). So if my solar system is no longer useful to me in NZ, It can go to a new home in Samoa. Also in Samoa, electricity is more expensive. And depending on which Island is either 60% diesel generated or 100% diesel generated.

 

 [edited to add]

 

Read the pricing methodology published by the lines company that serves your house. It will explain in great detail how the lines company calculates their fees. And you will then be able to see the problems that will be caused by mass uptake of solar.

 

I have been wanting to see proper reform of electricity charging structures for ages. To remove the indirect subsidies for both solar and fossil fuels. Otherwise you just get lots of "uneconomic bypass" as people make large investments to take advantage of indirect subsidies. And those people then complain bitterly when those subsidies are removed.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I can see the points, everyone goes to solar, much less left to fund the daily revenue requirements for the generators and power companies. 

 

What could any reforms do to resolve this? Perhaps removing the ability to have a Low User rate for those with solar? I googled and found that the export rates are circa 7c per kWh, I guess that can vary, but a rough idea. Does a power company get any benefit from this? I'm unsure of how much margin there is for the kWh rate, say it was 3c. Could the power company take a 3c cut so that they also make margin from solar PV exports? That could mean that the low usage PV people aren't the bottom end margin wise of the customer base.

 

I'm really keen on Solar PV, but I wont be looking at the viability based on Low User rates, or any credits on exports. Or future power price increases, Ill take a conservative view. If the annual saving is ok from a ROI, that would do me. Ive had good feedback from my mate who has 27 panels, he had 18 and expanded. And from the plumber from yesterday when he did a few jobs here. If I had battery pack (which doesn't seem worthwhile savings to cost wise) that would be useful for any power cuts. And the green factor, and the likelihood of getting an EV in the near future  


MarkH67
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  #1839230 4-Aug-2017 15:31
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The best value from solar panels is when you are able to use the power as it is generated, such as when charging your car during the day.

 

When you generate power during the day and don't use it so you feed that power into the national grid, you really aren't helping a lot.  You are supplying power during a low demand time and then at night during the peak demand period you are wanting to draw power from the national grid.

 

Once batteries drop in price enough so you can buy some house power storage batteries, then everything changes.  You could use your own stored power during peak loading times and therefore alleviate 1 house worth of power use from the peak demand on the national grid.  Wouldn't it be great to completely disconnect from the national grid and be 100% self sufficient for electricity?  That's when you save some money by paying 0c per kWh and also pay 0c per month in line fees, if only it wasn't dearer to set up this system than to pay the power companies - at least for now.


 
 
 
 


Linuxluver

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  #1839569 5-Aug-2017 17:23
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tripper1000:

 

tdgeek:

 

 

 

... WE dont need new dams, we need a big push on solar and EV..... 

 

 

Hey man, don't dis dams.

 

For any solution to succeed and perpetuate it must be economically viable. The reason why hydro is the dominate renewable resource world wide is because it is economical and is (or was here) commercially viable.

 

Solar is not economical, and is only popular (overseas) due to subsidies. History has shown us that as soon a subsides disappear the behaviour they encourage frequently also disappears. Solar has gotten cheaper due to mass-manufacturing encouraged by foreign subsidies. Once foreign subsidies and demand tapers off, solar will likely go back up in price here.

 

Dams also compliment cyclic renewables (wind/solar/tide) as a highly effective energy storage solution beating any and all batteries made or in design so far, so are important regardless. 

 

The RMA has been used to block the construction of new dams. People who block hydro frequently pass them selves off as environmentalists, however I for one are extremely dubious of their environmental claims. Anyone who cares about the global environment and wants to be a decent global citizen should be embracing commercially viable renewable energy. 

 

 

The economics of solar depend on how you measure them. 

For example, to build a major hydro dam and generating capacity related to it - if you have a suitable location - can take years and (today) the better part of a billion dollars. 

That same money, if applied to solar (and wind) generation can begin producing power in weeks. It ramps up rapidly over time. So factor in the opportunity cost of not generating that power for most of a deacde while you're building your $600m or $1 billion power project - if you have anywhere to do it.

Add to this infrastructure some form of storage. Batteries? Pump water uphill into a basin / reservoir or tower and use a series of smaller turbines?  

The Wairau River project in Marlborough would cost over $275 million. It would take water from the Wairau River (up to 60% -> environmental / usage consequences?) and run it through 50km of canals and take years to build. 

That same money could generate as much or more power and much faster if spend on solar and wind power and related grid-scale storage.....and without the (un-priced!!!!!) environmental harm done by the hydro project.

The idea that hydro and dams are cheaper ignores the fact they add zero cost of the project for the loss of land, habitat and alternative uses that water.  

Solar and wind are far less disruptive. If you consider that, waiting years for a dam that will make a mess of major rivers and water access by all - humans or plants or animals - then the dam begins to look very dodgy. 

Any vandal who spray paints all your car can claim it was no more expensive than the can of paint. That's the logic being used here. Never mind the value lost to you. "You" being everyone else who no longer enjoys / uses the river and the land as it was. 



 





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tripper1000
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  #1840643 7-Aug-2017 16:17
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Linuxluver:

 

 
Any vandal who spray paints all your car can claim it was no more expensive than the can of paint. That's the logic being used here. Never mind the value lost to you. "You" being everyone else who no longer enjoys / uses the river and the land as it was. 

 

 

The Wairau project will be money better spent than (present) solar by approx. 1066%. Hence power companies are investing in Hydro but not solar.

 

Schools have a lot to answer for because Kiwis are bad at economics. The only way hydro could be less economical is if Post Cards become currency and scenes of wind mills blighting the land scape and scenes of pristine rivers are more valuable than scenes of pristine lakes. (We'll ignore the futures bonds in such an Pseudo-eco-post-card economy because they will be scenes of earth looking more like Venus).

 

Solar - present installed rate $3.20/peak watt, (5Kw at $16K). Lifespan - approx. 20 years, productivity 18.75% = $17.06 per installed watt. = $0.85 per watt annually.

 

Wairau hydro - installed rate $4/peak watt - ($280M for 70 MW). Lifespan >100 years, productivity 49% = $8.16 per installed watt = $0.08 per watt annually.

 

Environmentally, people can relax all water will be returned all to the river, and the present minimum river flows must be maintained. Native fish and trout will be able to bypass the works. And although the endangered eels are declining massively before the scheme is even built, the scheme will pay to have a breeding program bring them back from the brink.

 

Edit: I used 6 sunshine hours per day in Wellington for Solar efficiency - should have been 4.5 sun shine hours.

 

 


Linuxluver

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  #1840657 7-Aug-2017 16:56
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tripper1000:

 

Linuxluver:

 

 
Any vandal who spray paints all your car can claim it was no more expensive than the can of paint. That's the logic being used here. Never mind the value lost to you. "You" being everyone else who no longer enjoys / uses the river and the land as it was. 

 

 

The Wairau project will be money better spent than (present) solar by approx. 1066%. Hence power companies are investing in Hydro but not solar.

 

Schools have a lot to answer for because Kiwis are bad at economics. The only way hydro could be less economical is if Post Cards become currency and scenes of wind mills blighting the land scape and scenes of pristine rivers are more valuable than scenes of pristine lakes. (We'll ignore the futures bonds in such an Pseudo-eco-post-card economy because they will be scenes of earth looking more like Venus).

 

Solar - present installed rate $3.20/peak watt, (5Kw at $16K). Lifespan - approx. 20 years, productivity 18.75% = $17.06 per installed watt. = $0.85 per watt annually.

 

Wairau hydro - installed rate $4/peak watt - ($280M for 70 MW). Lifespan >100 years, productivity 49% = $8.16 per installed watt = $0.08 per watt annually.

 

Environmentally, people can relax all water will be returned all to the river, and the present minimum river flows must be maintained. Native fish and trout will be able to bypass the works. And although the endangered eels are declining massively before the scheme is even built, the scheme will pay to have a breeding program bring them back from the brink.

 

Edit: I used 6 sunshine hours per day in Wellington for Solar efficiency - should have been 4.5 sun shine hours. 

 



Thanks for the detailed analysis. I do very much appreciate it. But I have some issues..... :-) 

You didn't add any cost for the imposition of the dam on the Wairau River. 
You didn't factor in the frequent droughts in that area......but the power generation will need 60% of the water? Reduced flow means higher cost / watt....right? Possibly unreliable supply....(at what cost?) 
You don't factor in the benefit of the growing supply of wind and / or PV power (as an alternative) throughout the construction period. 
You don't factor in the rapidly falling costs of solar and batteries. What might they be in 5 years? The same applies to dam construction costs, too.....which only ever go up. 

We saw in Canterbury what happens when corporate and farming interests conflict with habitat and ordinary people: the National government sacked the elected Board and appointed "Commissoners" who would serve the corporate and farming interests. For literally years on end they have failed to prosecute when people exceed their quotas. The government hasn't allowed elections since.  

Sorry. I'm not buying it. No offense intended. The evidence of actual practice over the past decade obliterates any possible faith this would be any different. 

 

 

 

 





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tripper1000
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  #1840690 7-Aug-2017 17:59
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Linuxluver:

 

 You didn't add any cost for the imposition of the dam on the Wairau River. 
You didn't factor in the frequent droughts in that area......but the power generation will need 60% of the water? 
You don't factor in the benefit of the growing supply of power throughout the construction period. 
You don't factor in the rapidly falling costs of solar and batteries.

We saw in Canterbury what happens when corporate and farming interests conflict with habitat and ordinary people: they sacked the elected Board and appointed people who would serve the corporate and farming interests. They don't prosecute when people exceed their quotas. They haven't had elections since. 

Sorry. I'm not buying it. No offense intended. The evidence of actual practice over the past decade obliterates any possible faith this would be any different. 

 

 

No offense taken or intended. I was trying to keep it short and we're getting a bit off topic here, but I guess power generation is crucial to driving an EV.

 


A) You didn't add any cost for the imposition of the dam on the Wairau River: 

 

1) Have you been there? The place is empty. It is a flood plain. It will be an imposition to 66 farmers, who will receive a negotiated cash buy-out for their land.

 

2)That's what the environmental studies and subsequent conditions were about.

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4393366/Hydro-scheme-gets-green-light 

 

At a neighbouring scheme:

 

https://www.trustpower.co.nz/our-assets-and-capability/power-generation/branch-river

 

3) There is already dams on this river and it's tributaries etc. This is nothing new for the environment or it's inhabitants.

 

 

 

B) You didn't factor in the frequent droughts in that area......but the power generation will need 60% of the water? 

 

1) The water goes right back into the river - net impact on the environment is nill water loss.

 

2) Lakes provide refuge for birds and fish during droughts. Storing and then releasing the flows during a drought can be highly beneficial to fish and birds.

 

3) You didn't factor in the frequent floods (it is a flood plain), where the scheme will not only turn mother natures fury to carbon free power, but reduce damage down stream.

 

4) A large portion of the Wairau river water is lost down stream into the aquifer. Lake storage can be useful in replenishing the aquifer to compensate for agricultural take.

 

5) As will almost all hydro schemes, there is a mandatory minimum flow rate in the original river to maintain natural cycles and health.

 

 

 

C) You don't factor in the benefit of the growing supply of power throughout the construction period. 

 

1) One of the conditions is that the project must be done within ten years.

 

2) Hydro is a short term loss for a long term gain, solar is short term gain for long term loss. ie the panels last 20 years only.

 

3) This project will be still young, by the time the entire solar alternate is in a land fill somewhere.

 

 

 

D) You don't factor in the rapidly falling costs of solar and batteries.

 

1) I looked up the latest solar package prices 5KW for $16K.

 

2) Logical Fallacy: You can't have both the previous statement (C) ie "now is better" and also (D) "later might be better". It's a dollar one way or the other. That batteries may be cheaper in 20 years does not support your argument because your capital will be lost in a landfill (I mean recycling centre) by then. 

 

3) All batteries have shorter lives than a dam.

 

4) All dams (well almost) have more capacities than all batteries.

 

5) All Solar panels have shorter lives than dams. Capital invested in a dam will produce zero carbon power longer than solar.

 

 

 

We're talking generation schemes not an agricultural schemes. Corruption in Canterbury is unrelated. But since you bought it up, to be able to make a environmental conscious decisions, you need to have choices, and choices only comes with affluence. Your car is not the cheapest to buy, but through money, you have the good fortune of options and bought it for environmental reasons.  At the end of the day, corruption in Canterbury is about making money (there's not other reason for it is there?) - the more affluent NZ is, the more choice it has. It is unholy, and I'm not condoning it, but the two are related.

 

Solar and wind alone will never produce enough energy to wean industry (such as steel, manufacturing and other heat intensive production) off of fossils. We can build hydro, and refine the worlds aluminium etc here with zero carbon, or we can send it all to Australia, and as we piously admire our renewable, clean hydro energy going begging, cough as the clouds of CO2 from coal plants across the Tasman waft past us and screw up the globe. Every hydro dam we build here, or overseas, means more less business for a coal plant somewhere and more coal left in the ground.


Linuxluver

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  #1841564 9-Aug-2017 08:15
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tdgeek:

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I can see the points, everyone goes to solar, much less left to fund the daily revenue requirements for the generators and power companies. 

 

What could any reforms do to resolve this? Perhaps removing the ability to have a Low User rate for those with solar? I googled and found that the export rates are circa 7c per kWh, I guess that can vary, but a rough idea. Does a power company get any benefit from this? I'm unsure of how much margin there is for the kWh rate, say it was 3c. Could the power company take a 3c cut so that they also make margin from solar PV exports? That could mean that the low usage PV people aren't the bottom end margin wise of the customer base.

 

I'm really keen on Solar PV, but I wont be looking at the viability based on Low User rates, or any credits on exports. Or future power price increases, Ill take a conservative view. If the annual saving is ok from a ROI, that would do me. Ive had good feedback from my mate who has 27 panels, he had 18 and expanded. And from the plumber from yesterday when he did a few jobs here. If I had battery pack (which doesn't seem worthwhile savings to cost wise) that would be useful for any power cuts. And the green factor, and the likelihood of getting an EV in the near future  

 

 

It highlights how privatisation gets in the way of doing what is necessary. 

If everyone goes solar *and* has battery backup then the grid becomes a power safety net and we would have to see it differently to how we see it today. It won't be a source of profit in the way it often is now. It will be necessary infrastructure for moving power around....and that will have a cost everyone should share. 

I plan to get solar and I don't see what Unison did as a "solar tax". It's a rational response to a problem arising from a growing transitional force in power generation and distribution: local micro-power generation (and storage).  From an environmental and cost and civil defense perspective, widely distributed micro-generation is the best, most obvious way to go. But it can't leave a shrinking number of people to carry the cost of the grid that makes the whole power network more reliable for everyone. 

I get annoyed by the "solar tax" argument. Sure, some people want to go off the grid and be all on their own and pay others nothing.....and you could use the same rationale for income tax or any other shared cost that benefits everyone. 

I'm going solar to reduce my contribution to emissions and to reduce the need to dam the few rivers that aren't already dammed. It might even be cheaper......but I don't care if it is. It just needs to be better. I'll happily pay for better. 





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Aredwood
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  #1844833 10-Aug-2017 22:53
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tdgeek:

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I can see the points, everyone goes to solar, much less left to fund the daily revenue requirements for the generators and power companies. 

 

What could any reforms do to resolve this? Perhaps removing the ability to have a Low User rate for those with solar? I googled and found that the export rates are circa 7c per kWh, I guess that can vary, but a rough idea. Does a power company get any benefit from this? I'm unsure of how much margin there is for the kWh rate, say it was 3c. Could the power company take a 3c cut so that they also make margin from solar PV exports? That could mean that the low usage PV people aren't the bottom end margin wise of the customer base.

 

 

The margin that the power companies make from exported solar depends massively on what the current wholesale price when the solar power gets exported. And to a lesser extent what fees the lines company charge per kW/Hr for imported power

 

Imagine you have solar panels on your house and you are currently exporting power. At the same time your next door neighbour is importing exactly the same amount of power. Assume that you get paid 7c per unit for exported power, You and the neighbour get charged 20c per unit for imported power, and 11c per unit of the imported power cost is lines fees. Takeaway the cost of the lines fees, and the power company only gets to keep 9c per unit out of the 20c per unit they charge you and your neighbour for imported power.

 

If wholesale prices are currently 8c per unit, the power company would be making 1c per unit extra profit to supply the neighbour, compared to just buying that power from the wholesale market. If the wholesale price drops to 6c per unit, the power company is now loosing 1c per unit buying that power from you. As they could have bought it cheaper from the wholesale market. So that is why solar buyback rates have settled to around the average price of wholesale power.

 

Currently most solar is grid connect without batteries. But long term when grid connect with batteries becomes more popular. Solar buyback rates will fall. Why? - Currently daily power demand is highest during morning and evenings. But there is normally a dip in power demand between 2pm - 4pm. Which is a larger dip on warm sunny days, due to people switching off their heating in the afternoon as their houses are warmed by the sun. Add power intensive manufacturing winding down for the day and schools finishing for the day.

 

In the mornings, excess solar generation will be used for battery charging. But in the afternoon, the batteries will be fully charged. So those systems will start exporting their excess power, right when power demand is already dropping. In a way, solar panels are actually competing against - solar passive heating - as in buildings getting warmed directly by the sun.

 

 

 

Linuxluver:

 

It highlights how privatisation gets in the way of doing what is necessary. 

If everyone goes solar *and* has battery backup then the grid becomes a power safety net and we would have to see it differently to how we see it today. It won't be a source of profit in the way it often is now. It will be necessary infrastructure for moving power around....and that will have a cost everyone should share. 

I plan to get solar and I don't see what Unison did as a "solar tax". It's a rational response to a problem arising from a growing transitional force in power generation and distribution: local micro-power generation (and storage).  From an environmental and cost and civil defense perspective, widely distributed micro-generation is the best, most obvious way to go. But it can't leave a shrinking number of people to carry the cost of the grid that makes the whole power network more reliable for everyone. 

I get annoyed by the "solar tax" argument. Sure, some people want to go off the grid and be all on their own and pay others nothing.....and you could use the same rationale for income tax or any other shared cost that benefits everyone. 

I'm going solar to reduce my contribution to emissions and to reduce the need to dam the few rivers that aren't already dammed. It might even be cheaper......but I don't care if it is. It just needs to be better. I'll happily pay for better. 

 

 

I don't get why you are so keen to reduce hydro generation. When there is still alot of gas, coal and diesel generation being used. Here is some food for thought:

 

Click to see full size

 

Click to see full size

 

Flick electric define more than 550Ton/CO2e as High emissions. But as you can see the above amounts were almost double the defined "high" amount. And note that those amounts are per 1/2 hour. And yes diesel generators were definitely feeding the grid when both of those screenshots were taken.

 

Also most of those diesel generators will be piston engines virtually the same as found in almost any large truck. And almost certain they will have 0 emissions controls on them. If you are charging your Nissan Leaf while diesel generation is feeding the grid. You will be causing more emissions compared to just driving a diesel car. As you have the engine efficiency losses to produce kinetic energy, generator losses, power network losses, charger losses to charge your leaf, then its internal battery and motor losses to finally turn it back into kinetic energy. It would be a safe bet that if diesel generation is in use - it would be the marginal generation. In otherwords if you switch something on, it would be the diesel generator that would increase it's output to keep the grid in balance.

 

The more hydro that gets built, the less coal, gas and diesel generation needed. Also note the times those screenshots were taken. Not much solar generation available early in the morning, and at 7.30pm in Winter.

 

The bottom line - building more hydro generation is by far the best way to reduce carbon emissions in NZ from electricity generation. And it also helps to increase the total emissions reductions from switching to electric cars.

 

@LinuxLuver Do you check what current carbon emissions from electricity generation are, before you recharge your Leaf? NB, the Flick Electric app can be used by anyone in NZ to check current carbon emissions from power generation.






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  #1845086 11-Aug-2017 11:58
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Aredwood:

 

Flick electric define more than 550Ton/CO2e as High emissions. But as you can see the above amounts were almost double the defined "high" amount. And note that those amounts are per 1/2 hour. And yes diesel generators were definitely feeding the grid when both of those screenshots were taken.

 

Also most of those diesel generators will be piston engines virtually the same as found in almost any large truck. And almost certain they will have 0 emissions controls on them. If you are charging your Nissan Leaf while diesel generation is feeding the grid. You will be causing more emissions compared to just driving a diesel car. As you have the engine efficiency losses to produce kinetic energy, generator losses, power network losses, charger losses to charge your leaf, then its internal battery and motor losses to finally turn it back into kinetic energy. It would be a safe bet that if diesel generation is in use - it would be the marginal generation. In otherwords if you switch something on, it would be the diesel generator that would increase it's output to keep the grid in balance.

 

The more hydro that gets built, the less coal, gas and diesel generation needed. Also note the times those screenshots were taken. Not much solar generation available early in the morning, and at 7.30pm in Winter.

 

The bottom line - building more hydro generation is by far the best way to reduce carbon emissions in NZ from electricity generation. And it also helps to increase the total emissions reductions from switching to electric cars.

 

@LinuxLuver Do you check what current carbon emissions from electricity generation are, before you recharge your Leaf? NB, the Flick Electric app can be used by anyone in NZ to check current carbon emissions from power generation.

 

 

I hear you. :-)  Yes, it makes more sense for a solar panel owner to store the power for use later than to export it at times when it isn't actually needed. I haven't got solar partly because I never did see any value in having it when I'm not home all day and the power is needed at night....and the previous generation of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries were very expensive. That is changing now as Li-ion batteries get cheaper and last decades....and me now basically just need smart phones and tablets - with big batteries already - to fill the place in the home of several appliances from yesteryear (TV, stereo, PC in particular).

I don't have solar now because my neighbour's trees shade my roof for most of the year.....I've bought a new house elsewhere that doesn't have this problem, but I don't live there yet.  

Two quick points: 

1. I'm not talking about reducing hydro. Where did the word reduce come from? It's always interesting to see people insert word and ideas the person they are responding to didn't use. What I am saying is we don't need the Waimea scheme....and there aren't many other locations left that would generate large-scale power without also causing major environmental disturbance and loss of land and its amenity value. Why do it, if you don't have to? That's a serious question because.......we don't have to.

2. I do use the Flick app. It's great, isn't it!  





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  #1845138 11-Aug-2017 13:02
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Enough with quoting more than needed. 





 

 

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