Fox News comes to Boise to examine solar power dispute

Fox News is scheduled to come to Boise today to investigate the dispute between Idaho Power and its more than 300 customers with rooftop solar power systems.

I suspect that Fox is here because nationwide, indeed worldwide solar power’s time has come. So many solar panels have come on the market, especially from China, that the price of the panels has come down dramatically.

It was so dramatic that Transform Solar, the partnership between Micron Technology and Australian Energy company Origin, ended and the Nampa panels plant closed. It wasn’t that they didn’t have good technology, they just couldn’t compete on prices in the current market.

But as is true in any relatively free market, low prices benefit consumers. So all over the U.S. and in nations like Germany, homeowners are investing in rooftop solar systems.
steve white
The benefits are already amazing. For two hours one day in May of 2012, German homeowners and businesses generated enough solar power to meet the nation’s entire electric power demand, according to Bloomberg Businessweek in an excellent story on solar.

Remember, Germany is north of most of Idaho.

But there also are costs for the electric utilities who serve these customers. They now have to integrate all of this new power into their system but still have power ready when the sun goes down.

The challenge is even greater for regulated utilities, which depend on a public utilities commission to set their prices and approve their rate of return instead of the market. These companies, like Idaho Power made investments in coal plants, natural gas plants, power lines, substations and the other systems that send power to their customers every time they flick a switch. It also has the hydroelectric power plants, built 50 years ago and long paid off by customers, which use our public resource, moving water. These legacy generation plants keep our prices relatively low until the expected $500 million in relicensing costs is added sometime soon.

Under this regulated monopoly system that is nearly 100 years old, utilities have a right to expect a rate of return for the costs the PUC approves. But its solar customers argue that the recent proposal that increases their costs and actually would take some of the surplus power they produce in the summer when Idaho Power needs it by arbitrary taking all power credits left Dec. 31.
Steve White
“We can manage market risks, but we can’t invest if a monopoly has the power to arbitrarily and severely change our economics,” Courtney White, who I interviewed for my story on Idaho Power’s net metering proposal, in her PUC comments.

So I will be interested in how Fox News approaches the story. Will it focus on the generous subsidies that the federal government gives to people who install rooftop solar panels on their homes?
Will it examine the role the free market plays or can play in this great electric energy transition we and the world are going through? Will it talk about the freedom individuals get if they are producing their own electricity instead of depending on the regulated utility?

Will it examine how the government-regulated utility made wise investments with guidance from past public utility regulators to keep Idaho’s rates lower than most of the rest of the country?Courtney White

I doubt it will talk about the underlying issue that supports the subsidies, which is human-caused, rapid climate change. It is not a subject the network has examined very deeply except for the political ramifications.

Oh, Great!

Now, instead of the individual panels being green, they will be bright yellow.

You Are Still Playing With Your

discredited hockey sticks Rocky. Opinions as facts courtesy of the Idaho Statesman's Global Warming Clown.

False Information yet again Rocky

Germany only produced half of the country's usage, and that was on a weekend.

You really should have someone fact check your work.

You are right

I double checked my source and changed the story. Thanks.


So???? So you misread the original "source" or you're just making stuff up?


Since you deleted my first post and changed your text, you are still incorrect. Germany is not NORTH of most of Idaho. Apparently English and Geography were not taught at Sandwich High School.

Check a map

Only Munich and the southern tip of Germany lie below the 49th parallel. Most of Germany does lie above the 49th parallel, which is Idaho's northern border. If you're gonna slam someone, at least check your facts.


Really? I have to explain this?

My facts are NORTH of Idaho is Canada.

Germany may be HIGHER in LATITUDE than most of Idaho. But is it not North of Idaho. 8th Grade.

My God, you're insatiable!


People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

Always spinning

Just give us the facts Rocky instead of what you want us to read and believe.

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs.

It was 30% of Friday usage, and 50% of Saturday usage at midday.

When you got called out on your false statement you then make this statement.

"For two hours one day in May of 2012, German homeowners and businesses generated enough solar power to meet the nation’s entire electric power demand".

When are your "2 hours"? The middle of the night?

Fox News ! It's like the ................

.............. second coming . Are we to lay rose petals at their feet ?
Just think , Fox News right here in our little hamlet - I may swoon .

Yeah, I know what you mean - Megyn Kelly or....

Vicky Gowler; Bill O'Reilly or Rocky the Flying Squirrel? I just report - you decide.

Human caused climate change has become a hoax.

"human-caused, rapid climate change"

Hardly. 16+ years of flat temperatures does net equal "rapid climate change." That tired Eco-facist line has outlived it's use-by date. The catastrophic, human-caused, climate change hypothesis has been disproven in detail. It's not rapid, it's not unprecedented, it's not catastrophic, and the human contribution is infinitesimal. The temperature change we've seen since the end of the little ice age 160 years ago is consistent with a normal recovery from a natural cyclical cold period.

I know you guys want something that you can use to impose your will on the rest of us, but your faith in the climate cult is misplaced.

Relying on terrestrial solar power and wind power is just plain illiterate. All we have to do is look at Europe to see what an utter failure these expensive, inadequate, intermittent green dreams are.

The "renewable" toys you support don't do what you want them to do, no matter how much you want them to, because they need a reliable base load power generation system to back them up. It's really ridiculous to depend on them to power a modern civilization. Black outs and brown outs are not acceptable.

If you want a real replacement for fossil fuel based electricity support the development of solar power satellites. They will provide base load power 24 hours a day, rain or shine, summer or winter.


That's what smart grids are for.

But, heh!. If God had wanted us to fly he wouldn't have given us steam locomotives.

There is no hoax, delusions maybe, but no hoax

I suggest you watch the movie, "Chasing Ice". Movies are not scientific proof of anything but that movie is a graphic, time-lapse depiction of melting glaciers around the world. The glaciers I visited in Glacier national Park in 1972 are mostly gone. The glaciers I saw in Alaska are much smaller than when I visited them in the mid 1980's.
Your suggestion that we are experiencing normal warming following the end of the Little Ice Age is incorrect. The current increase in atmospheric CO2 is substantially greater than the amount recorded for the past 600,000 yrs as found in ice cores, and other geologic expressions of the past's climate. During these past 600,000 yrs the earth has gone through several glacial cycles. Earth's atmosphere is currently exhibiting CO2 at levels not seen in the past 600,000 years.
I recommend that you spend time in the library reading the Science magazine where the peer reviewed evidence is completely contrary to your belief.

Glaciaers and ice has been melting since the last

ice age. The ice age went clear to Idaho and Montana. That ice has been melting and now gone too for well over 1000 years. Hardly cause by man. The earth goes thru cycles along with the Sun. This cycle is no different than any other, other than the Govt and NWO wants to cash in on it. People are gullible.

I thought Al Gore sold his Climate Change

Scam to the Persians? No wait, that was his other scam.

Barker's Beauty

Barker had a half-way decent article going there until the last paragraph when he has to throw in his pet fantasy topic...

Rocky gives me human-caused, rapid indigestion.

Sesame Street

Which on of these does not belong"

"In fact, on a sunny day in May, rooftop provided all of Germany’s power needs for two hours. " - a good writer.

"For two hours one day in May of 2012, German homeowners and businesses generated enough solar power to meet the nation’s entire electric power demand" - The Rock.



It all evens out. Fox is the counter-balance to the liberal slant in your writing.

It's all good- fret not.

It's still impressive

Providing half the country's energy for two hours on a weekend in May is impressive.

This level of capacity in the sunnier US would reduce the Middle East to mostly someone else's problem, not a reason for war..

Not my job

Someone else's problem-

50,000 Syrian deaths caused by the govt killing their own people
100,000 Kurds killed by Saddam
Saddam invading Kuwait and threatening to invade Saudi Arabia
Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map.
The Bengazi Embassy
Human rights
Womens rights
Girls not getting any education
Hostages in the Gulf of Aden by pirates
Earthquakes in Pakistan
The center of terrorism....

So who's problem would it be?

Off target

OUr invasion of Iraq was as acknowledged by former Fed Chief Alan Greesnpan all bout the oil.

In addition the article is not about the US's self appointed role as the world's policeman which has led to the most severe threat to our security -- the collapse of our economy.


No, you said if we used more solar power the US wouldn't have to worry about the Middle East.

I say you are wrong- we have a humanitarian responsibility to be involved and be pro-active in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Therefore your point related to solar power relieving the US of our responsibilties is false.

I KNOW you can do it!


People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

P2, don't think the average American citizen

wants to pay a lot for any 'humanitarian responsibilities' in the Middle East, or elsewhere, for that matter. We have too many other irons in the fire - and limits to our resources.

But it will make sense, from almost any perspective, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Solar development in the USA will help with that.