Greg Scott, Livermore
As I write this letter over 142 square miles have burned in the Beckwourth Complex
Fire north of Truckee. In southern Oregon, the Bootleg Fire has interrupted California electric energy imports on three electrical transmission lines. California is the largest net importer of electrical energy. Governor Newsom has temporarily allowed ships in port to use their auxiliary power to relieve the California electrical grid, notwithstanding the greater carbon dioxide emissions.
We cannot continue the status quo of our complex, over-stretched electrical grid. The way to change this is through Net Energy Metering (NEM) and energy storage using ammonia. We already have significant experience storing ammonia for fertilizer and other uses. We need a new way to manufacture ammonia using high-efficiency gas plasma. The Australians have made great strides on this.
NEM is the installation of solar-electric on residences, commercial and government buildings, and other existing infrastructure such as parking lots. The building of new infrastructure for electrical transmission is minimal for NEM compared to, for example, utility-scale solar-electric.
There is a 'class warfare' campaign against NEM by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and others: they deemed it economically unfair. That it is. So why not promote NEM to low-income households and businesses through infrastructure investments? Because PG&E is in the business of selling energy and making money for investors.
Income is not the only inequality on solar-electric. In a study by the University of California Berkeley "Disparities in rooftop photovoltaics deployment in the United States by race and ethnicity," NEM is also established to be discriminatory by race, with income ruled out as a dominating factor. PG&E doesn't advertise that fact.
Jacqueline Patterson, Senior Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) states that "With clean energy, not only is it often a more affordable way of accessing energy, but it also puts us in control of our energy." What is the "control" of utility-scale solar-electric versus NEM rooftop solar? Rooftop solar projects "can slash monthly utility bills by up to 75 percent." ("Solar Power's Unequal Shine", Scientific American, Summer 2021). How is this going to happen with utility-scale solar-electric?
There is no social justice in electricity rates when a household or business cannot reduce by NEM, or in very expensive food produced by "agrovoltaics" alongside of utility-scale solar-electric.