California mandates and subsidizes solar power, but the money for that isn't from all taxpayers, it is instead taxes and fees tacked onto the bills of people who use conventional energy - people in apartments, renters, and anyone who can't afford solar installations.

Worse, solar owners, already privileged, also 'sell electricity back at the same rate they buy it', which everyone knows is impossible. Utilities have employees, infrastructure, and repairs, so without a markup to cover those, they'd be out of business. Thanks to a bulletproof-majority in state politics, science is pushed to the side, and conventional energy users pay even more to so the state can engage in fiscal magic.

Yet the worst part is not that it's an economic loss, nor that it isn't doing much to create clean energy when imported electricity from other states dominates and is another reason California has the nation's highest utility rates - it's that it's not even helping the planet.

Impartial experts were relegated to the conspiracy fringe when they noted "the duck curve" of solar - that the time when it is most prevalent is when it is least needed. Now, with an illegal state deficit that is at least $42 billion and may be over $70 billion once the final bills for the past year get tabulated, critics are starting to question where the money has gone.(1)

Like the belly of a duck, solar is going to be available in the spring and during the day, when fewer people need it because they use far less heat or air conditioning, or aren't home. That means conventional energy users forced to 'buy back' electricity from solar customers at full retail price had their money wasted. 2.6 million megawatt-hours of energy last year were not used and could not be sold, because no other states needed it either.

To try and stem the financial losses caused by solar "net metering", the state changed the program for new installations. New solar owners can no longer sell electricity back at full retail.

Anyone with an understanding of economics knows what happened then; installations plummeted by nearly 70%. If poor people aren't going to pay for it, rich people aren't going to bother.

It's not about saving the planet and never has been, and it's about time the state stopped punishing the people who can least afford a basic necessity like energy, by making them pay additional fees simply because they lack the wealth of those in Malibu and Marin County.

Yet the state isn't doing the intelligent thing now any more than then. Instead, poor people will be forced to pay even more electricity costs, so that utilities can add expensive batteries to store energy at high cost because no one needs to buy it.


(1) $24 billion wasted on the homeless problem that Governor Newsom created when he told all of the nation's homeless to come to the state. $14 billion in subsidized health care for illegal immigrants, $5 billion for a mandatory government 'green composting' program that actually involves garbage being shipped to centralized facilities where composting is rushed using extreme amounts of energy. It goes on.