Effects of Mandating PV Rooftop Solar

Effects of Mandating PV Rooftop Solar

California, with great fanfare and huge media accolades, announced it will mandate the use of PV rooftop solar on all new homes, including any building of three stories or less, beginning in 2020.

But, does anyone see a problem with this fanfare when viewing this graphic from the energy information administration (EIA)?

(For clarity, the sectors are, from top to bottom: Agriculture, Commercial and Residential, Electric Power, Industrial, and Transportation.)

With all its efforts to install wind and solar, and do away with nuclear and coal-fired power generation, California has made absolutely no improvement in lowering its CO2 emissions, at least when compared with 1990 levels. Reductions since 2008 were also caused, at least in part, by the great recession. Even California’s 2020 target is merely to reach 1990 levels.

So far in California, it’s been all pain and no gain, with electricity prices, double those of the average US residential price, and housing prices out of reach for the average worker.

The real headline should be: 

Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy is all pain and no gain.

Let’s look first at the 2030 target of cutting CO2 emissions 40%, which is to be reached in only 12 years.

The mandate to install PV rooftop solar on all new residential buildings will have practically no effect on reaching the 2030 goal. CO2 emissions from commercial and residential buildings are already meager in terms of overall CO2 emissions. Cutting something from nothing, or nearly nothing seems like a trivial accomplishment.

The cash generating parts of the economy are agriculture and industry. There aren’t many headlines about how California will cut CO2 emissions from these two sectors since they are the backbone of the California economy, which leaves the electric power and transportation sectors to be targeted for CO2 emission reductions.

Fast forward to the 2050 goal of cutting CO2 emissions 90%. It’s doubtful PV rooftop solar will play much of a roll in achieving this goal.

Now, squeeze the electric power and transportation sectors to zero, and the goal still can’t be met, assuming the cash flow positive parts of the economy, agriculture and industry, which provides jobs and tax revenues, aren’t substantially cut.

The media attention given to the mandate for PV rooftop solar seems a little over the top, given it will have virtually no effect on achieving California’s goal of cutting CO2 emissions 90% by 2050… Or 40% by 2030.

About all it does is throw a lifeline to the solar industry that’s been on a downhill financial trajectory.

AGW environmental extremists relish the publicity from the PV rooftop solar mandate because it diverts people’s attention from what the extremists are really trying to accomplish, as well as from the hardships and anti-people policies AGW extremists want to impose on Americans.

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11 Replies to “Effects of Mandating PV Rooftop Solar”

  1. Unfortunately I live in Connecticut. Our politicians look at what goes on in California and wish they could do the same here. Rooftop PV subsidies are being phased out here in CT. My state has three Power generating Windmills in existence right now, with no additional generation planned. Maybe there will be a new push for Solar PV when the Democrats retake Congress? There is absolutely no Press inquiries into the PV and Wind effects on the Power Grid. There is pressure for Utility rates to go up again this year. Stable Electric Power has a calming effect on our society; without reliable power, we sink into anarchy –
    look what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.What a mess!
    And, there is no credible empirical scientific study that concluded that catastrophic atmospheric temperatures are caused by increased atmospheric CO2.

    • Thanks for your comment. You are correct, there is no credible science that says CO2 will cause catastrophic disasters. Just the opposite. There is excellent science that says the sun is the main cause of climate change. ISO-NE has a real problem in trying to avoid blackouts, given the politics of the New England states.

  2. The Graphic says it all. Within 32 years the “Legacy” of Governor Brown (maybe “Lunacy?”) will have shut down all airports, industry, and agriculture. The bright side? Housing will be cheap because no one can, or will want to, live there anymore. I suspect that caves will be in short supply.

  3. To add to the idiocy , the amount of solar panels (and the watts) are miniscule from what I’ve been hearing . Plus , the builder gets to control who installs them and we all know what happens with a “value added” dealer item . The sky’s the limit

    • Thanks for your comments.
      Not sure how long they last, and whether the homeowner will recover all his investment if the panels have to be replaced after 20 years.

  4. Solar tend to payback faster if prices rise faster. And solar drives prices up faster if there is a lot of solar. So, it is a self justifying system. But, net costs go up still.

    • The higher the cost of electricity, the quicker the payback for a PV rooftop solar system. The more renewables on the utility grid, the higher the price for electricity. As you noted, the end result is higher prices.

  5. Pingback: On mandatory solar roof in California – electricityasia

  6. California became a no-go zone. Cost of living up…crimes up….taxes up. Crackheads and all sort of junkies walking down the streets. It really is a nasty place to be.

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