Fizzling energy

Political stalemate impedes green power program

|
(129)
Supporters of CleanPowerSF rally outside City Hall.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

A plan for a municipal power program that would offer 100 percent green energy to San Francisco customers was stalled on Aug. 13, prompting Sup. John Avalos to explore what legal options might be available to bring the program to fruition without further delay.

Prior to that San Francisco Public Utilities Commission hearing, supporters of CleanPowerSF rallied on the steps of City Hall, urging Mayor Ed Lee and members of the commission to approve a not-to-exceed rate, a technical hurdle that must be cleared before the program can advance. SFPUC staff cannot formalize a contract for purchasing power on the open market until that maximum rate has been formally established, so as long as it goes unapproved, CleanPowerSF lingers in limbo.

"We call on the Mayor's Office to stop impeding progress with heavy-handed politics," said Shawn Marshall, executive director of Local Energy Aggregation Network (LEAN) — a group that assists with clean-energy municipal power programs. "And we ask the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to stay focused on its job of implementing a program that was approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors last September. That's almost a year ago, folks."

But after more than two hours of public comment in which dozens of advocates voiced support for moving ahead with the program, SFPUC commissioners voted down a motion to approve the rate, leaving CleanPowerSF in limbo with no clear path forward.

 

COMMISSIONER CONCERNS

Commissioners Francesca Vietor and Anson Moran were the only ones on the commission to favor the rate approval, while Ann Moller Caen, Vince Courtney, and President Art Torres shot it down.

"I feel like today is a historic moment for the SFPUC as well as the city of San Francisco," Vietor said as she introduced the motion at the beginning of the meeting, "to become a leader in combating climate change."

Rather than focus on the question of whether or not to establish a top rate of 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (a reduced price from an earlier proposal that sparked an outcry from critics because of the sticker shock), Torres and Caen criticized CleanPowerSF before casting "no" votes.

Caen said she'd "always had problems with the opt-out situation," referring to a system that will automatically enroll utility customers into the program, while Torres criticized the project for changing shape since its inception, saying, "at the end of the day, this is not what San Franciscans had anticipated."

But after straying well beyond the scope of a discussion about the not-to-exceed rate, commissioners who shot down CleanPowerSF didn't provide SFPUC staff with any hints on how to allay their concerns. Some might interpret the hearing outcome as a death knell for CleanPowerSF, but Avalos has taken up the cause of pushing for implementation.

Unable to attend the hearing in person, Avalos sent legislative aide Jeremy Pollock to convey his concerns. "We all understand the politics of the situation," his statement noted. "The Board of Supervisors and every major environmental group in the City support this program. The Mayor, PG&E, and its union oppose it. I know you are feeling a lot of pressure from both sides. But we cannot afford further political gamesmanship to cause additional delays in an attempt to kill this program."

The effort to implement CleanPowerSF is mired in politics. For Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Northern California's largest utility, the enterprise represents an encroachment into prime service territory and a threat to the power company's monopoly.

Comments

You don't need to write three pages of tedious verbiage simply tor estate that.

You love Shell Oil instead. We get that.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:21 am

SFBG not only loves Shell Oil, but they do not understand the power of solar powered homes.

A solar powered home is the essence of decentralization.

Solar gives us the power to restructure our whole economic system
by building all housing as solar powered.

Each solar home become a
light house for the politically blind,
a neighborhood Utility providing energy,
a beacon of hope.

A pool of oil can be owned by one person.
But solar is everywhere.

There is no way Shell Oil can control all the solar panels,
but CPSF is sure trying to give Shell Oil
more than their fair share.

Solar powered homes puts more decision-making
power on the individual level.
Solar takes power and money away from Shell and PG&E,
and gives it to families.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:38 am

Since CleanPowerSF will install huge amounts of exactly the kind of local solar that you are talking about, why are you attacking the SF Guardian and the program?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:57 am

Nothing in the CPSF says the law will force
PG&E to pay home owners $0.22 kwh for feeding solar onto the grid.
Nothing.

Lawyers are people who will say anything, with no evidence.

Show me one scrap of evidence that CPSF will require PG&E to pay
home owners $0.22 kwh for solar.

I have been talking to you about this for 90 days,
face to face,
and you have never shown me anything.
When I call you on the phone, you don't return calls.
You know my number. I dare you to call me.

I assume you are just lying again,
because you have nothing.
CPSF is just a shell game to give money &
power to your buddies
in Shell Oil.
Do you work for Shell?
Prove to me what you really do for a living.
Show me.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

Paul you completely misunderstand the California Community Choice law that enables CleanPowerSF.

CleanPowerSF has no need to sell any feed in tariff power to PG&E whatsoever. Under its -own- feed in tariffs, CleanPowerSF will buy directly from panel owners and sell -directly- to its own customers. PG&E is cut completely out of the process.

As I noted above Marin County is already using feed in tariffs. See: https://mcecleanenergy.com/fit

As to my income I am a very low paid nonprofit grassroots organizer and an SF Green Party volunteer with no financial (or even non-financial) relationships of any kind with Shell or any other corporation, or even with any nonprofit foundation.

And I am not a lawyer. ;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

What grid will CPSF use?

To sell energy you need to use a grid.

The Feed in Tariff laws, (FiT) used in over
7,000+ cities around the world, requires the owners
of the grid to pay the home owners,
example, in Japan, $0.53 kwh.
A fair & reasonable price.

We could pass a FiT law here to require
PG&E pay $0.50 kwh.
That would be reasonable, considering this is a
world EMERGENCY that requires we act fast

to put solar on every home, in every city in California now.
The President could issue an Executive Order,
like JFK did when he stopped the Vietnam war,
and saved my life. Yes, I am a vet of Vietnam.
But Obama is just a puppet of Shell Oil.

As somebody said, "CPSF has no plan."
The more you say, the more we realize
you really have no actual written plan.

You add some new "angle" every day.
Meaning there is no written plan.

We in IRENA,
(International Renewable ENergy Agency )
have a written law, a FiT,
that is the law, in 69 nations around the world.
It has been in use for 21+ years.
It is real. It works.

Best of all it has created 3 million+ documented new solar jobs
in 69 nations around the world.
By 2020, we will have created 22 million solar jobs.
Join us and the world will be won.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

The PG&E grid will be used. But because California's electricity 'deregulation' law separated generation from distribution, CleanPowerSF can buy and sell the electricity directly from and to its customers.

Most of the solar funded through CleanPowerSF via feed in tariffs will be local decentralized energy, and so will remain very close to its buildings of origin, so transmission and distribution costs will be very minimal.

Again, PG&E is beautifully and effectively circumvented by this model.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

Double Speak.
You are saying CPSF will be another agency
that will take money from PG&E,
to pay us for our solar energy?
We don't need a middle man.
PG&E can just give me the money, thank you.

What you seem to be saying is CPSF will
own my solar panels &
give me a small cut from my energy.

We don't need another pig at the trough.

What we need is what is working in over 7,000+
cities in the world:
a Feed in Tariff that requires PG&E to pay
home owners $0.33 kwh for my energy.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 8:41 am

I'm glad you raised this issue of how to maximize funds to build renewables because it gets to something we haven't yet discussed and which is the core flaw of relying only on feed in tariffs. Feed in tariffs throw a lot of profit to private owners that then won't be used to build more renewables.

If we get lucky against the massive opposition that PG&E will launch against feed in tariffs and we win, what does that give us?

It gives us a bunch of private solar panel owners who will take the money that we (rightly) force PG&E to pay them and then those private owners will sensibly spend that money on themselves and their own needs, -not- solar panels on the next building. That's no way to optimize the speed of renewable installation.

Just because Germany did a good job with feed in tariffs, doesn't mean there isn't an even better and faster way, and that better and faster way, is the CleanPowerSF local build-out plan that I posted before.

That plan for CleanPowerSF doesn't focus primarily on feed in tariffs, because it uses even better mechanisms to build far more renewables far more quickly. With feed in tariffs, you have to pay solar panel owners a -lot- of money to buy the solar. You pay the solar panel owner a profit just as you pay PG&E a profit.

Instead the plan for CleanPowerSF is to proactively install hundreds of megawatts of diverse renewables and efficiency at no up front cost to the building owners and then give the owners a discount on their rates.

In this way, those owners will still be incentivized with a real benefit, but that benefit is kept minimal so that much more of the savings and revenues from the renewable systems installed can be used to quickly build -more- renewables.

Also, because CleanPowerSF will install large amounts of renewables all at once through city bonds, it will achieve vastly better economies of scale on panel and other equipment prices. Individual home and business owners acting alone in response to feed in tariffs could never achieve such economies of scale.

CleanPowerSF will likely use some feed in tariffs, but the core of the program is far smarter and larger than that.

Also remember that in Germany, a lot of public money had to subsidize the feed in tariffs. In CleanPowerSF, no tax or rate payer money at all will have to be used. And in the U.S. since the public is so averse to taxes and rate increases, that difference is crucial.

So yes, feed in tariffs worked pretty well in Germany, and are better than no comprehensive program at all.

But why not employ a program plan that is even better, and is based on sharing the savings from renewables and efficiency with the entire community so that we can build more renewables, more quickly?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

Eric you actually say you "do NOT trust home owners, who buy solar panels, with their own money, to spend the small income they get from PG&E,
to re-invest that money into more solar."

You say you trust Shell Oil more.

Why do you suppose every home owner (& union member) in Japan is now being paid $0.53 kwh for feeding solar onto their national grid?

Because the government of Japan trusts its farmers and
home owners to reinvest the wages
they are being paid, by the big Utilities.

This how the governments are mobilizing millions
of union workers in all these cities to stop global warming.

You need to learn to trust the home owners of SF.
They are responsible workers & union members.

There is now a Feed-in Tariff in over 7,000+ around the world
Copenhagen, Tokyo, Sydney, etc., where the governments
TRUST its people to re-invest the income they get from
the big Utilities.

Japan is on the front lines of this world emergency.
They know it is faster & more democratic to mobilize millions
of Japanese workers to install solar panels on their own roofs,
than it would be to try to hire private companies to install solar
on millions of roofs.

Who is going to do a better job quicker?
The owners of the home,...? or some contractor who only shows up
when he wants to, ... & quits work every day at 3pm?

This climate collapse is a world emergency.

Reactor #4 at Fukushima is tipping over.
It inevitably will fall.

Notice no US media is not reporting this real danger.
When it does fall, the exposed 1,500 radioactive fuel rods will
spontaneously trigger an atomic fire that may
contaminate most of Japan.

The cleaner the name of a company,...the dirtier the deeds.

Green washing is the new con game the Bernie Maddofs
of the world are using to trick cities into giving them $$ Billion
in bond money.

Bonds are a debt we tax payers end up paying
to feed the rich.
Somehow calling yourself "Clean Power SF" is suppose to trick
most people into trusting your scam.

The first time I read your slick 4-color flyer, put out by CPSF
I knew it was a scam.
The money arrow was flowing, in the diagram, to Shell Oil at a Nevada
solar farm.
Which side are you on?

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 8:09 am

Almost no one, if given the chance to make a personal profit from solar, would give that up just to promote the common good by paying that profit to install solar on someone else's roof.

That's why the system has to be designed to provide a small benefit to consumers while recycling most of the revenues from renewables into new renewable installations, so that no one has to pay extra for renewables at all.

On your Shell comment, I have already made clear that Shell has nothing to do with the local installation program.

Your other comments are likewise simply repetitions of blatantly false claims you have made about the program and are not worthy of a response.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

Are you still drinking your own urine, Paul?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

It isn't an attack. Google "Paul Kangas urine."

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

introducing a completely separate accusation to dismiss the point the commenter was making on the subject of feed in tariffs.

That reminds me of the time Eric Brooks called me an asshole after I described the idea of tearing down Hetch Hetchy reservior as a stupid idea.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

I do indeed on rare occasions call particularly offensive people assholes, and sometimes they do the same to me. When I used that moniker on you, it had nothing to do with your position on Hetch Hetchy. I was honestly conveying my assessment that you were being an irritating troll on the SF Guardian blogs and clogging them up with personal attacks of your own, which totally ignored previous messages from others on the thread, just so you that you could perpetuate insulting flaming wars with everyone. Your behavior frankly was pretty unconscionable, and so I upbraided you for it. Nothing more.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

The way I recall it, Mr. Brooks, I was trying to be respectful and politely interrogate the Prop F. argument which I (and scores of voters) felt might be in error and in which the proof that was promised could never quite be nailed down.

I might have been bombastic and wrong to call Prop. F a "stupid idea," but certainly you overreacted. No comment or group of comments I've ever made on any forum can add up to an explaination of that reaction.

Moving forward, let me suggest you can improve your effectiveness by adopting greater tact and developing your capacity to bear cogent counter-arguments with grace, even when they are persistent.

This would include not bringing in red-herrings, but keeping the discussion on a pertinent and respectful plain at all times.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

of course lillipublicans recalls it that way (we should run you for martyr of the year)

i suggest anyone truly interested in the matter look up the thread themselves to see the truth of it

i did, to find it exactly as he described

most of the regular readers of this blog know painfully well who the tactless troll is in this conversation

and all they have to do to verify *that* is to google "lillipublicans"

it is pretty amusing to see you lecturing other bloggers about tact

here - after just a 5 minute search - is one sample i found of your own gracefully tactful respect for another where you not only repeatedly berate with personal attacks but also fall into your all so frequent broken record sing-song riff on the musical number --- the pot calling the kettle black

"Troll the XIV has been writing dimwitted blurbs ostensibly in the hope of moving political thought rightward for some time.

That Troll XIV might hit upon a valid criticism of Democratic Minority Leader Pelosi signifies nothing in the larger scheme of things; and it is the mark ignorant simple mindedness -- and probabloy another like-minded troll -- to drag Matt Gonzalez into it."

now....... what was that about tact?

Posted by anonymous x on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

you can verify the authenticity of lillipublican's full insulting tactless rant here

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2012/10/01/nancy-pelosi-zombie#comment-72258

Posted by anonymous x on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

just one more little comment to mess with lillipublicans inevitable spiteful reply and force it to be squeezed into a tiny space :::))))

Posted by anonymous x on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 10:14 pm
i'm

so
squeezed
but
still
can't
trust

Posted by nasty on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

Is that identity any relation to you? -- if so I owed you an apology.

I have also come to find that it is more better to be reserved in my comments.

In any case that is a great example to support your point, but it is hardly a true indicator of the substance of my commentary. And in my defense I can say that I was under the impression that *all* of those commenters who were self-identifying as "Trolls" were not worthy of the least bit of distinction from each other.

Now back to the accusation regarding urine drinking and somebody's claim that it does not constitute a personal attack when brough up during a debate regarding public power policy. Or does that have nothing to do with anything?

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

No CPSF won't install solar panels on my roof.

No CPSF won't build solar powered homes.

Lancaster, CA just passed a law requiring all
new homes be 100% solar.

LA just passed a Feed in Tariff law to require
their Utility to buy all solar from 100 solar farms.

CPSF will nothing the world needs done.
Shell has no place in a solar economy.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

I agree with you about Shell. Your claims about CleanPowerSF itself are simply wrong. I've already explained why in other comments on this thread.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

I have the same opinion and I want to read more about this topic, it is really interesting!

Posted by Yachtbooker on Jan. 08, 2014 @ 1:13 am

Follow the money.

The Feed in Tariff works to give home owners FREE energy,
plus paying homes $300. a month income
from selling solar onto the PG&E grid.
That puts money into my pocket.

That pays off the cost of 33 solar panels in 7 years.
You end up owning your own home based solar Utility company.

Suddenly, homes replace Shell Oil company
& prevents the need for Fracking.
What a deal.

The CPSF is a scam created by Shell Oil & the
Koch brothers to prevent SF from passing a FiT law.

SF is not going to pass a $$ Billion dollar bond,
which is the secret CPSF plan,
to buy solar panels
for Shell Oil & the Koch brothers, in Nevada.

As Willie Brown recently wrote, with a straight face,
"cost estimates for large projects in SF,
are really just down payments,...
ways to get us so far into the
quicksand ... that we
can't afford to back out."

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 24, 2013 @ 7:03 am

And CleanPowerSF will be able to use full feed in tariff's from day one (at -higher- than 22 cents per kilowatt hour if the economics allow it) as soon as it is launched next year.

Contrarily, your own idea is to attempt to pass a statewide ballot measure (a huge and daunting task) to force PG&E to pay feed in tariff's. That's great and by all means we should pursue it. I signed the petition myself.

But in San Francisco CleanPowerSF will give us feed in tariff based solar right now with 100% more certainty than a ballot measure.

PG&E and other for profit utilities will spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat the ballot measure. And they may well succeed.

We should be pursuing both local and statewide campaigns to increase our chances of winning.

It is really mind boggling that you are promoting one move toward feed in tariffs while spuriously attacking a local one, basically because you've been duped by PG&E's corrupt house union IBEW 1245 into believing absurd falsehoods about CleanPowerSF.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 24, 2013 @ 10:02 am

My goal has been to pass a Feed in Tariff in SF, only.
Not statewide.
None of what you say is in the CPSF written documents.
What the documents say is,
"We will give $20 million to Shell Oil to build a solar farm in Nevada."
Creating no jobs in SF.
Wasting energy transmitting energy from Nevada to SF.

Eric this is a worldwide emergency.
We need real, tested, solutions now.

We need what really has been shown to work.

The Feed in Tariff works best.
That is why Japan passed a Feed in Tariff requiring Utilities
to pay $0.53 kwh, just after their meltdown.
Yes, $0.53 kwh is high, but that is necessary to inspire
home owners to get a loan & buy panels.

I have never talked to anyone from the Union #1245.
I read the book, "Energy Imperative" by Hermann Scheer.
I read the news from Japan daily.
This is a serious crisis --- and you need to get serious
about solar.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 8:55 am

I'm glad you raised this issue of how to best maximize funds to build renewables because it gets to something we haven't yet discussed and which is the core flaw of relying only on feed in tariffs. Feed in tariffs throw a lot of profit to private owners that then won't be used to build more renewables.

If we get lucky against the massive opposition that PG&E will launch against feed in tariffs and we win, what does that give us?

It gives us a bunch of private solar panel owners who will take the money that we (rightly) force PG&E to pay them and then those private owners will sensibly spend that money on themselves and their own needs, -not- solar panels on the next building. That's no way to optimize the speed of renewable installation.

Just because Germany did a good job with feed in tariffs, doesn't mean there isn't an even better and faster way, and that better and faster way, is the CleanPowerSF local build-out plan that I posted before.

That plan for CleanPowerSF doesn't focus primarily on feed in tariffs, because it uses even better mechanisms to build far more renewables far more quickly. With feed in tariffs, you have to pay solar panel owners a -lot- of money to buy the solar. You pay the solar panel owner a profit just as you pay PG&E a profit.

Instead the plan for CleanPowerSF is to proactively install hundreds of megawatts of diverse renewables and efficiency at no up front cost to the building owners and then give the owners a discount on their rates.

In this way, those owners will still be incentivized with a real benefit, but that benefit is kept minimal so that much more of the savings and revenues from the renewable systems installed can be used to quickly build -more- renewables.

Also, because CleanPowerSF will install large amounts of renewables all at once through city bonds, it will achieve vastly better economies of scale on panel and other equipment prices. Individual home and business owners acting alone in response to feed in tariffs could never achieve such economies of scale.

CleanPowerSF will likely use some feed in tariffs, but the core of the program is far smarter and larger than that.

Also remember that in Germany, a lot of public money had to subsidize the feed in tariffs. In CleanPowerSF, no tax or rate payer money at all will have to be used. And in the U.S. since the public is so averse to taxes and rate increases, that difference is crucial.

So yes, feed in tariffs worked pretty well in Germany, and are better than no comprehensive program at all.

But why not employ a program plan that is even better, and is based on sharing the savings from renewables and efficiency with the entire community so that we can build more renewables, more quickly?

And by the way, there is nothing whatsoever in the CleanPowerSF legislation or plans that says we are paying Shell 20 million dollars to build a Nevada solar farm. That narrative is pure fiction, written by the political director of PG&E's corrupt house union.

The fact that your are repeating that pure fiction yourself, shows that you are not looking deeply enough into CleanPowerSF to know how it actually works.

How about ceasing with quoting Hunter Stern and instead researching, and thinking, for yourself?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

Your interlocutor claims that drinking urine prevents all forms of cancer, and that selenium cures cancer, heart disease, and hepatitis.

His doctoral degree is from a non-accredited distance-education school.

Wikipedia on that school: Clayton College of Natural Health never held educational accreditation from any agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.[3] Several state education agencies specifically list Clayton as unaccredited, among them Oregon, Texas, and Maine.[4] Degrees issued by Clayton may not be acceptable to some employers or institutions, and use of degree titles granted by Clayton may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.[4][5]
Closure and lawsuit[edit source | editbeta]
In July 2010, the college announced on its website that it was ceasing operations, blaming a number of factors but primarily the effects of the recent economic recession.[6] In November 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed seeking recoveries on behalf of thousands of students who were enrolled in prepaid distance education programs at Clayton College.[7] The lawsuit claims Clayton breached its fiduciary duty, was negligent, among other claims, and seeks compensation for the tuition amounts paid for programs that are no longer available. They are also seeking compensation for Plaintiffs’ "loss of time and opportunity", among other damages.[8]

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

..but I would rather debate both Paul's proposals, and attacks, on their merits rather than focus on his background or credibility.

His proposals have some merit, because solar feed in tariffs work pretty well.

And both I, and Rebecca's article, have I hope made pretty clear that his attacks on CleanPowerSF are simply not factual or valid, and are largely based on propaganda he is reading straight from the multimillion dollar PG&E PR department.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

Eric you are fixated on CPSF, almost like it is a religion.
The reason science vanquishes religion is because the numbers add up.
Science is real.
When you do the math, it does not make sense to pay
Shell Oil $20 million, to build solar farms in Nevada.
That creates no jobs in SF.
Worse, the solar panels are now owned by Shell Oil.
Giving millions to an Oil company is not a good idea.
The biggest loss in this equation is the huge loss of energy transmitting
it from Nevada to SF, causes a loss of 15% of your energy.

$20 million - 0 jobs, - 15% e lost = 0.

There is no benefit to SF from CPSF.
CPSF = crapping on SF.

A far better deal
would be for SF Supervisors to pass a law,
like Sebastopol & Lancaster, Ca have done,
that requires all new homes in SF to be 100% solar powered.
Plus, the Supervisors could pass a Feed-in Tariff law (FiT) that requires PG&E to pay $0.33 kwh to homes that feed solar energy onto the grid.
LA did that. Beat SF.
Tokyo’s Feed in Tariff law requires Utilities to pay $0.53 kwh.
That makes investing in solar attractive. That motivated 20 million home owners to invest in solar, creating 5 million JOBS, so Japan will now achieve 100% solar before SF does.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 6:18 pm

Paul, you keep repeating various claims without citing references. I've cited paperwork that proves the case I am making. Now it is your turn.

Please cite credible web links which prove the following claims you have made:

1) CleanPowerSF pays Shell oil $20 million to build solar farms in Nevada.

2) Feed in tariffs create 20 million jobs.

Let's just start with those two and see if you can prove them.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

Really excellent report; especially your section noting that the creators of CleanPowerSF, Local Power, has been designing a real and detailed plan for local renewables installation. Note: The SFPUC staff dropped this planning process in the middle of Local Power developing it - because the Mayor knew that the plan was about to prove we can quickly begin replacing PG&E with locally owned and managed clean energy; so a cynical kibosh was put on Local Power's crucial work.

The good news is that when Local Power gave a presentation on this plan to the Environment Commission it was received -very- enthusiastically by commissioners and staff - the latter who said they were ready, willing and able to manage the described build-out of hundreds of megawatts of community clean energy and efficiency installations. The plan is projected bring at least 1500 jobs per year to the San Francisco Bay Area.

On The Shell Deal

Now let's get to this Shell issue. None, I repeat -none- of the community advocates who have been working for the last decade to successfully launch this program ‘strongly’ support the Shell contract. To date we have decided to very reluctantly -tolerate- the tiny 20 megawatt Shell program start up, which is planned to provide less than 5% percent of the eventual 400 megawatts or more of clean electricity that CleanPowerSF will deliver to the City.

We accepted this Shell launch for three reasons:

1) We asked for and received a commitment from SFPUC staff that the Shell deal would be held to only 20 megawatts and would be temporary - not to be extended beyond its planned five year timespan.

2) We asked for and received from both the SFPUC commission and Board of Supervisors extremely strong language in their resolutions launching the program stating that the local hiring of workers to build those hundreds of megawatts of local clean energy will -be- the program, not a piddling purchasing of tens of megawatts of electricity on the open market from producers who are already generating it in the first place.

3) SFPUC staff falsely told us that hiring a large fossil fuel energy corporation like Shell to purchase that first small tranche of electricity on the market was the only way to start the program.

So we all gritted our teeth and tolerated the contract with Shell because, as John Rizzo rightly points out, it is the huge local clean energy installation and green jobs program that will -replace- that small market start up which is important. The large local build-out is the ball we need to keep our eye on, and keep in the air.

Here's The Best News - Shell Might Not Be Necessary

SFPUC staff have recently admitted that the SFPUC can in fact do the same type and scale of clean energy purchases on the open market that are planned under the Shell contract, on its own, in house.

Because of this dramatic new admission, community advocates are now engaging in talks with SFPUC staff on how fast the SFPUC might be able to get such an in house energy purchasing plan off the ground to start up CleanPowerSF, and if it can be done quickly and not delay the program any further, it is quite conceivable that the Shell contract could simply be dropped.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 11:39 am

Shell Oil has its tentacles in 99 nations & business.
We must block Shell Oil from expanding into solar farming.

It is cynical of the Green Party to support Shell by
trying to give Shell $20 million of our precious dollars.

We can defeat Shell, the Green Party and CPSF by
opting out of this scam.

It is cynical of the Green Party to not oppose CPSF,
because by helping pay for a centralized Shell solar farm in Nevada
they are trying to prevent home owners in SF from
getting paid for the solar energy they produce
and feed onto the local grid.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 10:01 am

I've already explained what a tiny and inconsequential part of CleanPowerSF the Shell contract represents (less than 5% of the program) as well as how I and many others are actively working to even eliminate that small role.

CleanPowerSF advocates including Greens are focusing on making sure that local residents get access to over 400 megawatts of local clean energy to both buy and sell for themselves.

Everything you are claiming we are not promoting, we are in fact promoting.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

Enough sun energy fall on SF daily
to run every electric train,
every home, every school, from solar.

You offer 400 mw of solar energy for $ 1 Billion dollars.
Totally ridiculous waste of money.
I am offering 100% solar to SF forever,
at no cost to the tax payers.

It makes more sense to pay home owners to get a loan,
buy 50 solar panels, which they then own for 40 years,
so the homes get paid for feeding solar onto the grid.
We don't need a new middleman.

I realize you do not yet understand that cities, with far less
sun than SF, will soon achieve 100% of their energy from
solar & renewables, but it is already happening,
while we discuss IF we can do it.
Mother Nature will win this debate.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 9:07 am

Paul, honestly man, you keep repeating absolute nonsense about CleanPowerSF that bears no relation to the actual program.

Here's the reality..

Neither ratepayers nor tax payers will pay -any- money whatsoever for the program because it will be funded with revenue bonds which will be -entirely- paid off by the decades of savings and revenues that renewables and efficiency will provide after their up front costs are covered.

CleanPowerSF will pay the up front cost of the installations and then home and business owners will pay back those costs over time on their bills (on which they will be charged the same or lower rates than PG&E). Essentially this is exactly the long term loan to owners that you suggest in your remarks above.

In other words, the program is designed to do exactly what you just advocated, but on a much larger scale, and with far more than mere solar panels.

The fact that you are not aware of this, shows that you are not even bothering to read and understand the documentation on the program that I posted earlier, and that your only interest is stubbornly preaching your own ideology without listening to anyone else.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

Eric do you agree that enough sun falls on SF daily to run this whole city 100% from solar?

Posted by Guestpaul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 2:42 pm
No

Because solar is not 'always on' power. It has to be balanced with a full spectrum of other renewable resources and efficiency measures to power the city 24/7.

The city could be run on all -renewables- but not solar by itself.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

OK Eric, you fell into the knowledge pit
most solar deniers fall into.

Most solar expert will tell you "There is enough sun to run SF
& most cities 100% from solar.

1) if we store the surplus solar energy
in electric car batteries, (Tesla), in your garage.

2) or in water tanks, ie., pump water up in the day,
at night it flows out thru a generator,

3) cut energy use thru double pane windows & insulation,

4) and over 33 new energy storage devises.

Prof. Mark Z Jacobson teaches a course at Stanford, that explains how
SF can be run 100% on just solar.
There are over 100 experts who agree with him.

Time to do your homework Eric, if you think you are going to
talk with the big boys.
Sure, you can hide & rant, but
face to face you can't hold a candle to anyone.
CPSF has no chance of passing the smell test.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

(First, do us all a favor and tone down the personal attacks Paul. With every post you are becoming more strident and more of a jerk and it is becoming tedious.)

Second and more importantly, your thesis just doesn't hold water. Everyone in this debate knows full well that technically, enough sunlight falls on the city to power it 24/7. However the amount of sunlight falling on the city and the capacity to use it are two -utterly- different matters.

There is simply no way that battery storage, pump storage, double paned windows, and insulation can be scaled to bolster the city to run on 100% solar power in the next two decades (the time frame that matters when it comes to climate crisis tipping points). Moreover, double paned windows and insulation in a city where people use very little home heating or air conditioning won't amount to even a drop in the bucket on energy savings.

Nevertheless, since you have said that a Stanford professor has established this case of yours, let's see the evidence. Please show his paperwork which proves it.

Finally, it is notable that you have finally shifted from the far fetched storyline of feed in tariffs being the silver bullet, only policy necessary, to power San Francisco on 100% solar electricity, to at last admitting that -extensive- efficiency measures and storage strategies also have to be part of the equation. (As do all of the other strategies I have noted such as combined heat and power, wind power, and demand response.)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

Eric, I have read every word you have written, twice,
& looked at your site, by Paul Fenn.

Here is all you say:

You are going to "sell Shares" to customers!!!!!

"community shares offered to all customers,
rate discounts,
lower bills,
lower GHGs"

We don't want "Shares", we want solar panels on our roofs.

We want PG&E to pay us $0.53 kwh,
just like home owners in Japan are paid in 2013,
for feeding solar onto the grid.

We want 22 million solar JOBS for all our young people.

We want enough solar put up now, to shut down
all coal fired power plants by 2050.

China has said it will shut down all its coal fired plants by 2060,
simply by putting millions of solar panels on private homes.
That is in communist red China!

Yet, you oppose people putting solar on their homes.
Why?

You can not show anyone how your "plan" will produce
more than about 100 jobs.

CPSF is a fraud.

I am open to debating you on this, for 1 hour,
at a public forum,
but you always says you will "refuse to talk
face to face, where you can be video taped."
Name the time & place.
I will be there.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

First, the reference I cited clearly shows that the CleanPowerSF build-out plan will create 1500 jobs per year for ten years. So why are you making the unfathomable claim that you've careful read the plan and found that it only cites the creation of '100 jobs'.

And the shares mentioned in the plan are to enable people who can't put solar on their own roofs (for example apartment tenants) to buy in to putting panels on other people's roofs, so that they can be part owners of the system and share in its economic benefits.

In any case, it is again, time for you to stop launching personal attacks and wild claims and prove this stuff.

Please show evidence to prove:

1) Feed in tariffs will create 22 million jobs (and please show documentation of where and over what time period those jobs will be created).

2) Your claim that I quote: "oppose people putting solar on their homes" I have never said anything remotely resembling that, anywhere, at any time. Please give us a link to a comment where I have said that.

3) Which solar feed in tariff you are advocating. First you said 'we want' feed in tariffs at 22 cents/kwh then you said 'we want' feed in tariffs at 33 cents/kwh and now you are saying 'we want PG&E to pay us 53 cents/kwh. Which is it?

Tell you what - as soon as you have established some documentation that proves your case and some basic rational consistency in what you are proposing, then we can talk about debating.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 am

any government bureaucracy. I see CPSF as a backdoor effort to try and get PG&E out of the door, but the voters have always supported PG&E over public power.

Solar? Yes. City-run power? No.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

PG&E will still own and maintain the wires and distribution system.

CleanPowerSF only takes over the function of deciding where the energy delivered over those wires will come from.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 25, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

I just interviewed Jim, at Green Point nursery in Novato,
at Atherton & Olive st.,
that has 20 acres where they want to put up
enough solar to generate 1 MW of solar
& feed it onto PG&E wires that run next to the property.

1 MW is a lot of solar energy.

MCE voted to deny them the right to install solar,
or to hook up, or to sell solar to PG&E.

Why is MCE denying Jim the right to sell his energy?

Both MCE & CPSF are some sort of scam
that will block private homes & farms from
selling solar onto the grid.

Bernie Maddof got away with his scam, because no one
took the time to investigate his "plan".

Every investigation I do turns up red flags that tell me
CPSF & MCE are just scams.

That is why I am Opting out of CPSF.
That is why Solar Times is warning people against
CPSF & MCE.

You will not get away with this scam.

Posted by Paul Kangas on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

MCE's denial of that solar installation permit was complete bullshit. Personally, I'm not a fan of MCE because it is building far too little renewables far too slowly. But the key reason for this is that MCE does not have a local build-out plan.

CleanPowerSF does have such a plan and that is a -huge- difference.

Now - another request for proof of your nonsensical claims.

Please show actual credible documentation (and I do not mean speculative opinion pieces in Solar Times) which shows how:

"Both MCE & CPSF are some sort of scam that will block private homes & farms from selling solar onto the grid."

As I recall I posted a link which clearly shows that Marin is employing feed in tariffs. So why are you claiming the opposite?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 12:11 am

I think everyone is getting tired of these words: progress or progressional.
It doesnt mean anything if it produces poor results and costs more money to do so.

Baiscally please stop with the BS propaganda and give us REPORTING like stats: What will it cost, which is more efficient per $ spent, and THEN tell us which produces ( IN TOTAL INCLUDING CYCLE OF BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE) the most carbon gas. Use those all in an equation to give us the total sum.

Most of the time these "green" projects use more energy and are less efficient, so when adding in the slight benefit of being green, they actually are worse for the environment when looked at completely.

Bottom line, usually the most efficient means IS the most green friendly.
Its not rocket science but people these days seem to have the brain power of kindergarteners . I dont blame the politicians as they simply go for whoever fills their pockets the most. While I think greedy and evil, I cant acuse them of being stupid.

Posted by jabberwolf on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

Jabberwolf deserves an answer.

It will cost you about $4,000. to put up an array of solar.
They will last you 40 years.
If PG&E pays you $0.22 kwh, you pay off your cost in 7 years.
If you now double your array, which most farmers in Japan & Germany do every 3 years, then in a few years you can be making $60,000. a year.
( See the free Youtube movie: Here comes the Sun - Scheer”)
which details how Germany will achieve 100% solar by 2050.

Australia just shut down its largest coal fired power plant, by using a Feed in Tariff that requires all Utilities to pay farmers $0.53 kwh.

By 2050 the world can have shut down all coal fired, all gas, all oil power plants.
Germany has already shut down 8 nukes.
Cheers.
San Bruno could become 100% solar powered by 2041, and so shut down all the old, brittle, gas pipelines that are exploding & killing people.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2013 @ 10:27 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Also from this author

  • Police provide explanation of Bernal Heights Park shooting at emotional town hall meeting

  • San Francisco's untouchables

    Is San Francisco trying to help the homeless -- or drive them away?

  • Draining the tank

    Students push UC system to divest from fossil fuels, joining an international movement gathering soon in San Francisco