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Old 10-18-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
It's very expensive to convert an IOU to a municipally owned utility. While in most cases a city can condemn and take over the system, they then have to pay the IOU the fair market value of what has been taken.
With good expert witnesses setting a value, the IOU can make that very expensive. In addition, the IOU typically has some strong allies (think political contributions) at some level of state and local government that makes this politically difficult.

MY54Ford has a power supplier's perspective on PV, which is fear of a competitor. To see the attitude of a retail distribution municipal, you should check out Austin Energy.
I agree. I don't have a dog in this fight but I believe Boulder would be better off spending its money on building a large solar/wind farm on the eastern plain and becoming a third party producer. I think the recent floods have shown the benefit of having Xcel as the distributor.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:09 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,876,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Did you actually read the study or are you basing your comments on the short newspaper article you quoted?

Everyone I know in both the solar industry and the electric utility industry have acknowledged that widespread adoption of renewable energy will bring big changes in how our large utilities do business.
For many decades power companies provided both distribution and production. In the future your local power company will handle the distribution end and you will be free to buy production from multiple sources. Throughout this transition there will be changes in how rates are structured.

Improved technology has changed many industries. Cell phones have changed the communications industry and the internet has changed the TV industry. Renewable energy will change how the local power company operates.

Are you suggesting that because there will be changes in the industry, that renewable energy is a bad thing? Assuming you live in California, if you remember 30 cent per gallon gasoline, you must also remember $5.00 per gallon gasoline. In the time gas went from 30 cents to Five Dollars, how much did your electric bill go up? And how is having two options (gasoline & electric) for personal transportation worse than having one option?
Thanks for the laugh. Looked at your mobile phone service bill lately? Has it gone down or up? Are there now fees on that bill that didn't exist before? Were they added in or simply broken out? Let me help:

the costs went up, exponentially. The fees were added, not simply broken out. What you might want to do is learn a little about PUCs and how they work and what they really do.

As for having two choices, gasoline or electric, nothing wrong with that until you realize that until most cars are electric, the infrastructure to charge them conveniently isn't going to be built. The only way that happens is if one of those choices, gasoline is no longer made available to you.

As for comparing mobile phones service and such in this topic, please. You have to jump through hoops to buy a phone and use it anywhere you want. So much for choices. More than that, you can't buy a phone from one of the two largest service providers and use it with the service from the other. How did that happen?

People can't figure out their taxes or health care choices and you think they will be able to figure out how to select where they purchase power from? On what planet is this? Somehow the power industry is going to figure out what no one else can? Maybe they can work on those other two problems too.

What you're talking about is the creation of yet another layer between the purchaser and provider and in case you don't have any idea what that means, it always means the prices go up and not by a small amount.

But do dream on.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,624,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
As for having two choices, gasoline or electric, nothing wrong with that until you realize that until most cars are electric, the infrastructure to charge them conveniently isn't going to be built. The only way that happens is if one of those choices, gasoline is no longer made available to you.
Not so, it's already being done. I'm curious where you live that you don't realize that electric car charging stations are already installed at office buildings, government buildings, and public parking lots in major cities all across the country, with more being installed all the time.

Another feature that I'm seeing on electric cars is solar cell roof panels that continuously charge the battery whenever the sun is out. The aren't efficient enough to run the car continuously, at least not yet, but they are useful for topping up a partially discharged battery during the day, such as while you are at work.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:52 AM
 
39,479 posts, read 40,796,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
MY54Ford has a power supplier's perspective on PV, which is fear of a competitor.
In this case the utility is being forced to pay the "competitor" the retail rate for electric.
In this case the utility is being forced to provide the "competitor" infrastructure at no charge.

On top of that the potential exists for fraud.

You tell me why they shouldn't fear the competitor.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:20 AM
 
Location: DC
6,526 posts, read 6,461,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
In this case the utility is being forced to pay the "competitor" the retail rate for electric.
In this case the utility is being forced to provide the "competitor" infrastructure at no charge.

On top of that the potential exists for fraud.

You tell me why they shouldn't fear the competitor.
My point is that to the retail distribution company that buys My54ford's wholesale electricity, roof top solar is just one more resource to meet their customers needs.

Utilities are allowed to earn a agreed upon return on their capital investment. Solar doesn't change that, though it may slightly change how utilities price their product for solar providers. I previously pointed out that the easiest approach is to increase the fixed charge to about $30/month and then charge or pay for the net energy used.

There is potential for fraud in all businesses. It's not a reason to avoid a new utility service. FUD is the last gasp of the loser's argument.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:18 PM
 
39,479 posts, read 40,796,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
My point is that to the retail distribution company that buys My54ford's wholesale electricity, roof top solar is just one more resource to meet their customers needs.
In the context you put in the beneficiary is the "competitor" at the expense of the utilities customers. I doubt anyone needs higher electric rsates so that is not meeting the needs of their customers.

Quote:
approach is to increase the fixed charge to about $30/month and then charge
The utility is still paying retail rates to the "competitor".
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:44 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,876,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Not so, it's already being done. I'm curious where you live that you don't realize that electric car charging stations are already installed at office buildings, government buildings, and public parking lots in major cities all across the country, with more being installed all the time.

Another feature that I'm seeing on electric cars is solar cell roof panels that continuously charge the battery whenever the sun is out. The aren't efficient enough to run the car continuously, at least not yet, but they are useful for topping up a partially discharged battery during the day, such as while you are at work.
Thanks for the laugh. Have you ever gone into some of those buildings? Everyone or even a majority are now supposed to go to a building or public parking lot to charge their vehicles? Uh huh. So lets add parking fees to the mix. Now in order to charge the electric car you must also pay a fee to either the government of someone else, on top of the cost to charge the car. What a novel idea. It costs far less to use a gasoline fueled vehicle and park elsewhere, far less.

Wow, now people are going to go into an office building or parking lot to charge their cars. And if they need to go somewhere? Wait for hours to charge their car right? And just how many spaces are allocated for this? The more you comment the deeper you get.

Solar panels on the roof of a car? Okay, time for school. You simply don't know what you're talking about and that brings into question everything else you've said on the matter.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,624,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Thanks for the laugh. Have you ever gone into some of those buildings? Everyone or even a majority are now supposed to go to a building or public parking lot to charge their vehicles? Uh huh.So lets add parking fees to the mix. Now in order to charge the electric car you must also pay a fee to either the government of someone else, on top of the cost to charge the car. What a novel idea. It costs far less to use a gasoline fueled vehicle and park elsewhere, far less.
Your ignorance and attitude is getting in the way of understanding what is actually happening in a real world that you are obviously not paying sufficient attention to.

If you commute to work in your car, you are likely to park in a parking lot, so it's completely logical to offer charging facilities while you work, and it's becoming increasingly common for employers to provide them. Five years ago a company I was working for installed solar roofed carports and free charging stations in their employee parking lot. It was an unprecedented perk at the time, and it helped popularize the use of electric cars. Since then a lot of other companies have begun installing them, some as a perk, some as a paid service. I've seen them in a free lot at a public library. As the number of electric cars increase, so will the number of charging stations to serve them.

Quote:
Wow, now people are going to go into an office building or parking lot to charge their cars. And if they need to go somewhere? Wait for hours to charge their car right? And just how many spaces are allocated for this? The more you comment the deeper you get.
Under normal use, you wouldn't plan to charge your car at all to make your daily round trip. Try to keep that in mind. But the chargers are handy if you want to extend your normal range for a side trip. The latest Tesla Superchargers can give a half charge (100 miles) in 20 minutes.

Quote:
Solar panels on the roof of a car? Okay, time for school. You simply don't know what you're talking about and that brings into question everything else you've said on the matter.
That's a logical fallacy called Ad Ignoratiam, and you use it a lot. The basis of your argument is that if you don't know about it, it must not be true. But you could save yourself a little embarrassment in the future if you'd stop and do a quick check on the internet to educate yourself a little before firing off with such misinformed pronouncements.

The first time I encountered a production car with a solar panel roof was a couple of years ago, on a Daimler Car2Go car rental, which model I've since driven in several cities. Here's a photo of one:

http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblo...r-roof-630.jpg

Today solar PV roof panels are available as an option on a number of cars, not to mention the smaller solar panels used in other cars to boost AC power or run electronics, the way the Lexus 8 does. None are anywhere near having the capacity to power a car yet, as I clearly said before, but this field is all about incremental improvements, as I also said before. Every little bit helps.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,624,347 times
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Default EV Charging stations

Here you go...

This is just one of a number of a number of sites devoted to helping EV owners find charging stations away from home. This one already lists 6,686 stations, and doesn't even include the private ones, like the ones my former employer installed in their parking lot for employee use.

Alternative Fuels Data Center: Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:09 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,876,868 times
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Doesn't that parking garage get in the way of the solar panel on the roof? I think it would.

Does your employer offer the charging for free? If so, that is an employee benefit and will become a taxable event, just like per diem and other benefits. As soon as it gets popular, employee benefits for charging electric cars will be taxable. Then what? Can they provide you with free gasoline and not declare they gave you a monetary equivalent benefit? Not a chance.

Okay, now onto the charging stations. How long does it take for a car to charge in one of those charging stations? Lets take the Chevy volt or Nissan Leaf. A hour with the 220 charger, 2, 3? Lets say 3 so as not to get to wound up here. You park your car and go to work. Your car is charged up and now you do what, leave the meeting to move your car so that someone else can get a charge?

You really have no understanding of what scaling up means. Do you think cars in general would have ever taken off as a means of transportation if the demand of car owners was used to scale up the availability of fueling stations? Not a chance.

Have you visited any cities lately? Bothered to look at the street with all those parking meters? Notice how full they get? Most people aren't parking in garages, public or private, there isn't enough space to accommodate them.

Back to the garage. Now that your car sits in a charging space that means one less space for the next electric car. So you say there will be more space with charging stations. How much will that cost and with what energy will those charging stations be produced? So instead of a single fueling station being able to handle hundreds of cars per day, even a thousand at some, we're going to devote one space and charger per car. Such a benefit to the environment.

See, didn't think it through did you?

Now work is being done to devise batteries that can be charged much faster, say in an hour. What happens to all the chargers already in place that can only charge a vehicle in a few hours at best? Do they get ripped out and replaced? So think about the garage that has 50% of it's spaces devoted to electric car charging and then the technology changes for next year. That is how it works by the way. What does the garage do when those who had older charging technology cars trade them in for the new models? Lots of people that commute trade their cars for new ones. So, does the garage now rip out the old chargers and replace them with new ones?

Say they do that. Now you park your car and in an hour it is all charged up. It's monday morning and 45 minutes after you get in the weekly prep meeting starts and then another one with your boss for team information delivery. Do you welch out to go move your car or are we now just charging one car per slot per day when the charging is done in an hour? Thought about that real world example?

Well, lets do it with quick change battery packs. Now we're getting closer, except for one little detail. No one has figured out how to get competing car makers to standardize their engines yet that is going to happen for electric cars? One battery pack fits all? Not a chance in you know what. No car maker is going to give up the one thing that really distinguished their cars from others, performance and with electric cars, the distance they can run on battery is a huge marketing issue. Somehow all that goes away because you want it to and it's good for the environment?

Now, to the number of charging stations around and the lists or apps available to find them. Okay, you need a charge. You call up your app or get out your list and pick one close to you. You get there and have to wait only 15 minutes before you get in for a charge. You hook up and now what? You aren't where you want to be so you sit there, for hours. Great.

You see why I said the standard must come first? There simply isn't enough charging capacity that can be installed to make electric cars more than a niche market. They work for people who don't need to drive far but those average commute distances are not really valid. They take into the mix places where people live very close to work to offset what happens in most cities where commuters drive in from every increasing distances.

Driving distances to work are increasing, not decreasing.

One might charge at home. Ok. Once again, we are building out one charging station per car. So, instead of the corner gas station handling a great many cars on an as needed basis, we're putting charging stations at every house or a great number of them. How is all that good for the environment? Is there now going to be a "green" manufacturing plant to make charging equipment? Most of that equipment involves the use of plastics, copper and aluminum. Guess where plastics come from? Recycled? Uh huh.

So eventually we'll have what, millions of charging stations all over the place? Can you begin to imagine the resources need to build and install all of them and then do it all over again when the battery technology changes? It will you know.

No one even begins to believe that the battery technology available today will be around 10 years from now. Talk about a resource waste for all those charging stations. They aren't making them upgradable you know because no one knows even what kind of connector they will use. Technology companies can't figure out how to come up with a standard charging system for mobile devices and somehow electric cars will be different? Such faith. Let me know when Ford, GM and Tesla, Mercedes, Honda, Kia and Zil all figure out which one of their designs will work for all of them.

Notice how almost all gasoline engines run on the same gas? There are three basic grades and one of them is bay far the most used and in all cases, all will work if necessary. Now try to get there with batteries in electric cars. Don't you see the problem? The problem is that cars can be designed around engines where the body shape and much of the car doesn't matter, one engine can work in a variety of car models. In the same model of car, numerous engines can be installed yet they all work on a common fuel. To be successful, electric cars have to get to that point. The deal is that batteries, unlike fuel tanks, are far more integrated into the design of the car. That means unless electric cars all have their batteries in the trunk or below it, getting to a standard battery isn't going to work.

The work needed to design a fuel tank to fit an area is child's play compared to what it takes to design a battery for a specific area. First, the batteries are much heavier so where they are placed become more critical. Then, the area available dictates to a large degree the capacity that can be built into the electric car. With a fuel tank it really doesn't matter, the engine will produce the same amount of power regardless of the size of the fuel tank. Small tank, shorter range but then refueling takes minutes and in you don't need much, as few as maybe half a minute and off you go. Electric cars can't get close to that and if they did they won't be like anything you see today.

That gets us back to chargers. If the battery technology for electric cars ever gets to the few minute recharge level, none of the chargers in service today will work with them. It is not a simple matter of changing the plug.

Can you say waste? In the end, there is nothing wrong with the idea except the implementation phase to the point where it makes more than a token benefit to the environment. What you might gain from the use of electric cars is more than offset by the resource intensive manufacturing and installation of charging stations since it takes so many charging stations to charge very few cars. Where will all the money come from? Right now there are incentives from the government but those are not sustainable. It simply isn't affordable even on a country wide scale.

You need an alternative to electric cars and right now the car makers are working on just that and electric cars will remain a niche and later a curiosity. A new fuel will be developed or one already available will be refined to a point where the type of infrastructure for gasoline cars can be replicated and because the manufacture of those vehicles will be on the scale as they are for those using gasoline. Anything else is a pipe dream.

Last edited by Mack Knife; 10-24-2013 at 12:18 AM..
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