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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
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  • Nov 24, 2021
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When I read what's happening in Sweden, I wonder why California couldn't take this path as opposed to allowing its utilities to successfully lobby state regulators to reduce net metering benefits for residential solar customers. In Sweden, it appears residential solar customers are able to participate in the market. In California, there is no open solar surplus market for residential customers, instead, it is largely monopolistic utilities that have been able to reduce the amount they have to pay residential customers for surplus solar. 

From the article: "It can be considered a sort of unique case in Europe, as utilities and traders usually tend to see solar customers as a source of income erosion, while Sweden is showing this is not always the case.” 

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Nov 24, 2021

"When I read what's happening in Sweden, I wonder why California couldn't take this path as opposed to allowing its utilities to successfully lobby state regulators to reduce net metering benefits for residential solar customers."

Christopher, partly because Sweden's power grid is owned and maintained by the state; California's, by investor-owned utilities.

Are you sure you want Sweden to serve as an example?

Sweden’s Power Problems Are Down to Grid Manager: Analysts

"Sweden’s grid manager, Svenska Kraftnat, is the reason why large parts of the country are suffering from a lack of power capacity, according to analysts at Swedbank AB.

On Thursday, one of the coldest days of the winter so far, peak power prices in the south of Sweden were almost four times higher than in the northern regions. The blame for that difference lies mainly with Svenska Kraftnat given its inability to deliver on plans for expansion of the grid, the analysts said in a client note.

Bottlenecks have meant that power generated from the country’s vast hydroelectric resources and an expansion of wind power in the north hasn’t been able to reach consumers in the south. Instead, they are increasingly dependent on imports of fossil-fuel generated electricity from Germany, Denmark and Poland."

Why did I suspect abandoning a nuclear plant would be at the root of the problem?

"Utility Vattenfall AB took the decision to shut the reactor five years ago [it was closed in January]. Since then, the energy debate has turned from discussing what to do with a massive glut of power to how to deal with a capacity shortages in many of the major cities. The closure of Ringhals-1, the fourth reactor to shut in seven years, will strain supply to the populous south."

Sweden’s Power Bills Set to Rise With Closure of Nuclear Plant

So predictable. So preventable. Send residential solar customers the bill for capacity shortages, and the problem goes away.

 

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