<> wrote:

> The utility gets from me about 3000 kw hrs net input to their grid during
> that time frame.  That amounts to about $300 clear profit to the utility.
> The utility loves that kind of margin.

Just to clarify: that is not clear profit! Not at all. The cost of the
electricity itself is only part of their expenses. It is at most one-third
of their costs. The utility is getting $100 per year from you, or less. In
most locations they have to pay you. They pay around 2 cents per kilowatt
hour, and sell it for around 10 cents, but that is not 8 cents profit.

Costs vary a great deal. Rural power companies are different from urban
ones. Companies with hydroelectric dams are different from ones with
natural gas or coal generators. But anyway, typically about one third of
power company expenses are for the grid. They would not save any money on
the grid even if you gave them the electricity for nothing. On the
contrary, they would have to improve the grid. Another third is for their
own generator capacity: coal plants, nukes, wind turbines, or dams. They
have to keep some of this working even if people sell or give them rooftop
PV electricity for free. In most geographic areas, you can never generate
all of electricity you need from PV. Even when your house is in an ideal
location and you cover your whole roof with PV, you still cannot generate
enough electricity for the average U.S. household. At best you get about
one-third of what you need:

(Unless you live in Death Valley.)

With hydroelectricity or wind turbines, the electric power itself costs
nothing. I mean there is no fuel cost. There are no pipelines or mines. All
of the power company costs are for equipment wear and tear, and for
maintaining the distribution grid. That includes things like snowstorms and
falling trees causing expensive repairs, and replacing old poles and power
lines. These costs will not be reduced by people giving or selling power
from home PV systems. Free PV power from houses is hardly any cheaper than
free hydroelectric power from a dam. The cost of the dam over the life of
the equipment is negligible. There is a 16 MW hydroelectric dam near my
house, at a park, that has been in use since 1906:

Obviously, the turbines have been replaced, but most of the capital cost
was for the dam, and it was paid off a long time ago!

- Jed

Reply via email to