Webinar: Local clean energy generation or remote — who wins the battle? Posted on Jun 24, 2021

Check out this excellent webinar hosted by the Clean Coalition on the true components underlying electricity costs from Distributed Generation and remotely located power plants: Webinar: Local clean energy generation or remote — who wins the battle?

Some key take aways from the webinar are, as follows:

  • Transmission costs are the fastest-growing component of your electricity bill.
  • Intelligently siting 4 GW of local solar would preempt over $2.2 billion in new transmission infrastructure investments — about $20 billion in ratepayer savings when considering O&M.
  • Transmission costs are always borne by ratepayers, while distribution & interconnection costs are borne by solar project developers.
  • Scaling up local solar+storage in coordination with utility-scale renewables, we can achieve the same clean-energy goals while saving $473 billion.
  • 3¢/kWh is being stolen from local renewables, making them look more expensive.
  • Generating energy closer to where we use it = less expensive transmission infrastructure, which lowers costs for ratepayers.
  • Continuing with business as usual could cost Californians ~$60 billion in avoidable transmission costs over 20 years.
  • Preempting transmission spending by deploying local renewables is not theoretical.  In CAISO’s 2017–2018 planning process, they deferred $2.6 billion in planned transmission spending. This was due in large part to increased deployment of local renewables + increased energy efficiency 
  • In 2021, utilities are charging ratepayers $4 billion in transmission. This is a 66% increase over 2016 in PG&E territory alone. Utilities are also charging California ratepayers $5 billion in wildfire liability expenses. These are the real cost shifts.
  • Edison Electric Institute (EEI), IOU trade association EEI on DG, 2012:1 “prospect of declining retail sales and earnings; financing of major investments in the T&D [transmission and distribution] . . . ; potential obsolescence of existing business and regulatory models.”  EEI is architect of the NEM solar cost shift attack strategy. CA’s IOUs onboard - each give about $2 million/yr to EEI.*
*Most recent IOU GO-77 executive compensation and contribution reports on dedicated CPUC webpage, accessed June 13, 2021: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/General.aspx?id=6442454119. SDG&E 2019 GO-77, p. 38 and p. 56, SDG&E paid EEI $1.843 million in dues and contributions in 2019; PG&E 2018 GO-77, p. 118, PG&E paid EEI $2.263 million in dues and contributions in 2018; SCE 2018 GO-77, p. 92, SCE paid EEI $1.871 million in dues and contributions in 2018