In California, the sunny state, three out of four residents would like to invest in renewable energy, yet is unable to. People that rent or have a low credit rating can’t buy and install a solar installation on their property. Now Senator Brown, who was senator before and did a lot for the environment, introduced a new law, bill SB43, that..
SB 43′s pilot program will enable customers of the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities to sign up to participate in shared renewable energy facilities, and receive credits and charges on their utility bill for the energy produced by their share of the project.
There are several ways to look at this, the most superficial is that people can now co-own renewable energy installations. They can be solar, wind or solar thermal, maybe even wave and geothermal. It seems this will bring a lot more cash to the development of these type of installations, but that is not the only thing going on.
This type of system, in which a person that invests $100 gets a return on that money for a long time, is actually an example of a pure transition from carbonbank credit to renewable based credit. It may be a very effective way to get the banking system out of the loop entirely. And we proposed such a system on a more distributed bases before when talking about introducing a ‘Joule’ currency to be handed out by the tax office to people.
The value of renewable energy is determined by the products it helps to make
What happens if you have a big renewable energy plant is that it delivers power to companies that make products. To make these products the companies need money, but the money is given to the co-owner of the energy plant, the consumer. So the consumer can go out with it’s dollar, earned from owning the energy plant into the market and give that money to the producers of products they like. It is a closed loop system that knocks out banks from the equation of the economy all together. No credit is needed for production, not banks are needed to provide credit to consumers. Everybody enjoys the wealth afforded by the sun.
To work properly energy companies will need to be able to create money to pay the divident
Of course the above cycle will be the ultimate result if one would continue to share renewable resources, and more importantly force fossil fuel energy credit to be used to built them, because that is what this bil does (undboubtably strongly against the will of the banks, or behind their backs as they are so focussed on carboncredit and speculation). It may have succeeded because it gives banking power to the utilities.
Energy storage will be equivalent to banking, and should be part of the scheme
Compared to Germany this scheme is somewhat easier to use for a renewable energy transition because a large amount of power from one location is easier to put a value to than power from many households that are partially consumed and shared on a net at unknown distances of the consumers. The big difference between creating energy for consumption and production is barely recognized at all, becuase most people don’t see money as our primary means of allocating energy, fossil fuel energy that is.
Using energy shares, if their value can be calculated correctly in a speculative banking environment, one can democratize and transition away form fossil fuel dependence completely, with one exception : import and export. It is impossible to provide the factories in China with energy produced in California, and money from outside coming in doesn’t have a share of energy waiting to be used. The way this is handled now is that China buys fossil fuels with the USD because the market is set in that currency (still for a large part). This is a condition for the global market, one that Iraq, Iran, Venzuela (Rogue, terrorist states!) all tried to do. The US banks can’t have this happen ever, because their life depends on the global division of production and consumption, their role as creztor and controller of carboncredit.
Money creation should lie in the hands of those that create production capacity (energy)
Money destruction should happen when the production capacity is used (energy is consumed)
Every state that creates either a distributed or central co ownership/share system for energy, and is able to set the price correctly, will be on a course away from carboncredit that nobody can stop. The big step is that the energy producer must be able to create money and put it in the hands of the shareholder. This makes sense because in the case of solar panels, after six or so years they are payed off, but then they still help produce goods and there is still electricity to be sold for abother 30 years.
Nuclear power maskerades economically as renewable energy
The joker that big energy may pull, when it is still entangled with fossil fuel banks, is the nuclear power plant. Nuclear power is produced at next to no cost (read fossil fuel cost), just like solar power when the installation is payed off. Nuclear power distorts prices by pretending to be cheap, because the real costs of the decomissioning and waste containment are simply not communicated in the price. This would be quite useless anyway, because let’s say a nuclear power plant saves money for 40 years, then when it wants to decomission there’s no oil for sale, so the money has no value. This will soon be the case. It shows that money is a means to trade, not a store of production value.
To make the transition clean Brown should make sure nuclear power is priced correcly, and make it explicitly possible for the shared energy plants to create money without the help of the banks. This is the hardest part to achieve, but the more renewable sources there are, the easier it gets to explain the above perspective.