Cause and effect. Here’s the cause: a puff piece (slightly dated) celebrating the latest in solar energy, which is such a good idea that the State of California is now coercing its usage.
California to require solar panels on most new homes
By Jon Fingas, 5 May 2018
There’s no question that solar power is entering the mainstream, but California is about to give it a giant boost. The state’s Energy Commission is expected to approve new energy standards that would require solar panels on the roofs of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings from 2020 onward. There will be exemptions for homes that either can’t fit solar panels or would be blocked by taller buildings or trees, but you’ll otherwise have to go green if your property is brand new.
Free unicorn rainbow farts! To be stored in hideously expensive, hideously toxic nickel-metal-hydride-hybridized-lithium-polymer jars.
The plan doesn’t require that a home reach net-zero status (where the solar power completely offsets the energy consumed in a year). However, it does provide “compliance credits” for homebuilders who install storage batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall, letting them build smaller panel arrays knowing that excess energy will be available to use off-hours.
Hello, cronyism! Elon Musk has been spending a lot of time on somebody’s casting couch, to be the lucky winner of those Orwellian “compliance credits”.
The new standards are poised to hike construction costs by $25,000 to $30,000 (about half of which is directly due to solar), but the self-produced energy is estimated to save owners $50,000 to $60,000 in operating costs over the solar technology’s expected 25-year lifespan.
Assuming regular good weather for decades, assuming accurate, long-term usage estimates and ignoring maintenance & repair costs, you’ll thank us after half a lifetime. Unintended consequences not included.
Short of a surprise rejection at the Energy Commission’s May 9th vote, this will make California the first state to have a solar panel requirement. [It got approved.] It’s relatively easy to do this in the region given California’s abundance of warm, sunny days and high real estate prices — it’s hard to see this happening in the American Midwest, where winter and lower home prices could make solar decidedly less practical.
Northern California sometimes has a cloudy day, too, but anything that works for San Diego is good enough for Eureka!
Critics have complained that this could make California’s housing shortage worse by pricing people out of those homes that are available, and note that most people in the state only really draw on non-renewable energy when they come home from work and strain the electrical grid.
The electric grid wouldn’t be “strained” if Sacramento didn’t keep trying to dismantle it wholesale. Our legislators are at war with reality.
Even so, this could change the landscape for both California’s energy and the market as a whole. Right now, no more than 20 percent of new single-family homes in California include solar power. Boost that by five times and that’s a lot more business for panel makers and installers. That, in turn, could reduce the costs of panels and make solar more affordable in many places, not just in California or even the US.
The only reason solar power doesn’t work is we haven’t tried it hard enough! Haven’t believed in it hard enough! Like Communism.
What a wonderful world we’ll have thanks to mandatory, expensive bureaucratic initiatives, according to Engadget. But here’s the effect, in a postscript to this article:
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