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Well written and an accurate summary of the situation.
This is true of Nuclear power plants too. The demand that reliable plants shut down when an unreliable and uncontrollable sources comes on the grid means that Nuclear power plants - which produce the cheapest electricity in the nation are pushed out of the market to make way for the latest feel good transfer of wealth. Again, power is made more expensive.
1. Only the well off get the benefits because the poor don't invest. The poor can't invest because they live in locations that make it impossible to participate. An apartment dweller cannot benefit from roof top solar. 2. There are tax benefits or other subsidies that transfer the costs to the poor. Yes, the whole cost of power goes up for the community at large to pay for the double structures needed to support unreliable solar power. We have to pay twice for the same thing (electricity generation) so that the people who live in houses capable of hosting a solar panel can be paid for that ability to install a solar panel on their home. Thus the price of everything goes up. This means that both because of location - house vs apartment and because of overall inflation - this is a regressive tax on the poor transferring wealth to the richer. 3. The financing structure is suspect. A lease is always more expensive than a purchase. This means that those costs are being transferred into the cost of power generation. The actual costs are not being paid by the business owner - the person who starts selling electricity to the grid as a power producer - but by the consumers who cannot access that same privilege. Again, overall costs rise and the poorest are paying more for all goods and services. 4. Wall Street is turning the contracts into securities. Bubble markets hurt us all when they collapse. What happens to the grid when those lease contracts collapse and the legislature has no tax money left to pay for the unreliable power produced? Those home owners will be stuck with a lease payment but no one to sell power to.
One other point here is that Solar energy is not reliable. While Arizona or New Mexico has fairly steady sun shine - during the day - there are days with clouds and there is this little thing called night… We need electricity when we want to use it, not when the sun happens to shine. Base load power is the stead amount of electricity that is needed 24/7 and then you have peaks from there. The whole system has to be designed to carry the peaks even when a part of the system is not working. This means on a cloudy day when the sun does not shine - you have to have enough power generation to fill up the whole demand. When the sun is shining bright those other power plants who had to work while the clouds were overhead have to shut down. Who pays for them to stay around? Solar is NOT dispatch able. You can't tell the sun when to shine. As a result the utilities have to pay for the power generation twice. Once for the "real" power plant which will turn off and on and again for the "solar roof" power that comes on and then off according to the weather.
When you say you sell it back really cheaply… are you getting about 6 cents / kWh? If you are getting the full price of the electricity someone else is paying you for that over charge. You are not paying to deliver your product to market.
Amazing, those who want to defend net metering because they are making money from it. Simply put it's like this. Let's say I grow apples on a tree in my back yard. They only have fruit for a few months a year. But the government tells my local grocer that she MUST buy my apples at full retail price when I have to many for my family to eat. Not only that, but she must drive to my house and pick them up and pay me full retail for them. Then, later in the year when apples quit growing on my tree I can go to the same store and buy apples at retail. In this way, roof top solar that is sold by the home owner to the electric grid at full retail rates is taking advantage of the cost of delivery - the wires and transformers that bring electricity to the home. Other people are paying for those wires and transformers whenever the electricity is sold back to the grid at retail. Normally, power plants earn between 6 to 8 cents a KWh for their product. The rest of the cost to the home owner is in the delivery of that product to their home - the other 4 to 8 cents. If roof top solar is paid the same rates as the other electric producers on the grid I would have no complaint.
In response to:

The Loss of Christian Empathy

Think Freely Wrote: Aug 29, 2014 8:20 AM
Ouch and Amen. This is a great call to interact rather than react.
In response to:

Build Better Teachers

Think Freely Wrote: Aug 29, 2014 7:41 AM
Thanks for these resources. I will purchase and read them. Curriculum is very important but good curriculum with a poor teacher still falls flat. Bad curriculum can be overcome at least partially with a good teacher.
Years ago as I was studying energy in general searching for some solutions to a specific application I was working on, I came across Nuclear Power. When I realized what it could do, I also realized that the whole CO2 thing was a diversion. If people are really serious about reducing CO2 then use Nuclear as a drop in replacement for coal. Job done. If you have some other agenda, use Wind and Solar as a green leaf to cover your real motives. Frankly, Wind and Solar sell natural gas. I have no problems with Natural Gas but Nuclear is better.
At the same time, Signature in the Cell by Stephen C Meyer which points out that the mechanisms for chemical evolution to create the first life fails to even come close. A mind, or intelligence is the only known cause for digital information as found in DNA and in epigenetic sources in the cell. Meyer is widely panned as being a pseudo science but the creative powers of random processes are not sufficient to produce the effect - a living cell even with the whole probabilistic resources of the universe to draw on.
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