Want Power You can Generate In Your Pocket

A closeup photograph of Yukon River from Midni...
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by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Pocket power generation may be a stretch, but Toshiba and at least two other Japanese companies are working separately to perfect and market small nuclear generating facilities. Toshiba has started marketing their unit, but was unsuccessful in their first attempt in the Yukon River watershed in Alaska due to their inability to sell the idea to Native Alaskans.

Toshiba’s plant, generates 10,000 kilowatts of electricity a day, while the other two companies (Mitsubishi and Hitachi) tout production of up to 350,000 kilowatts and up to 600,000 kilowatts, respectively.

I would bet that it will be years before the first compact nuclear generating plant is installed in the United States. Here’s the story as posted on Breitbart TV.

Here’s a video that is supposed to represent some of the opposition in Alaska.

According to Wikipedia, Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Facility was the last nuclear generating facility to go online in the United States in 1996.

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A New Gas Or Just Hot Air

Image of naturally burning oil shale on a coas...
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by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009).

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

According to a report from the United Kingdom’s Telegraph, the world is not likely to face a severe fuel shortage, in-so-far as a declining supply of one particular type of fossil fuel is or might be concerned.

The story reports

Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years’ supply – and rising fast.

“There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources,” he said.

The story continues

Rune Bjornson from Norway’s StatoilHydro said exploitable reserves are much greater than supposed just three years ago and may meet global gas needs for generations.

“The common wisdom was that unconventional gas was too difficult, too expensive and too demanding,” he said, according to Petroleum Economist. “This has changed. If we ever doubted that gas was the fuel of the future – in many ways there’s the answer.”

The article points out that extracting natural gas from oil shale is a “messy” process and has many dangers from chemicals used in the refining process. So, as seems to be the case in any process that involves chemicals and heat there may be consequences to bear and costs to pay … maybe consequences impossible to bear and  costs to expensive to pay.

For the United States, the article offers

As for the US, we may soon be looking at an era when gas, wind and solar power, combined with a smarter grid and a switch to electric cars returns the country to near energy self-sufficiency.

Not only might there be an abundant supply of the stuff, but if those that tout (as opposed to those that doubt) are correct, if the supply is actually developed, it could tip the economic fortunes of several countries upside down and might wreak financial havoc in some countries. You can read the article and follow other links to try to grasp the reasons this might happen GAS OR HOT AIR

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Edgewood Approves Wind Generator Ordinance

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
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By Bob Steiner

Since last December  the town’s Energy Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission have been working on an amendment to the town’s  zoning ordinance  which will regulate the installation and use of residential wind generating equipment in Edgewood. Most of the regularly scheduled council meeting on May 7th was devoted to this subject and any citizen present had opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment.  the town had  also  solicited email comments by citizens who were unable to attend the meeting. It seems odd but according to the town administrator only two emails were submitted regarding this subject.

After  the document was read before those present, some sixteen persons, one at a time, chose to make vocal comments on wind energy.   While six citizens expressed concern about the amendment, the remaining  ten commented in favor of it.  Those in opposition seemed  most concerned  about how generators might impact on their view of the local mountains.  Those in favor seemed  most concerned with the impact of potentially more polluting power sources (coal, for example) on our local environment.  In any event, while it appeared that the Mayor was not  overly- enthusiastic about approving the document, all four council members voted to approve the document.

From where I sat in the audience,  it seemed that all parties involved in the writing of the regulation have done a good job. Deserving of special kudos are John Abrams, who led the energy committees, and John Bassett and Janelle Turner,  commissioners in Edgewood Planning and Zoning,  whose attention to detail help make this  a viable document.  I am  convinced every effort was made to insure that the wants and concerns of all our citizens were embodied in the completed work.

Mr. Kenneth Brennan, who  works for a major commercial wind generator supplier, was present and addressed the meeting.  He seems to have a wealth of knowledge about the subject and has graciously agreed to answer wind energy  questions for his Edgewood neighbors.  He can be reached by calling  505-286-1897.

Please Note:  Gadabout-blogalot   does not endorse any specific products or sales agents.

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Would Edgewood Win With Wind?

New Mexico state welcome sign
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By Bob Steiner

At a time in our history when we could soon again experience $4. 00 a gallon gasoline, our community is trying to evaluate sources of energy which could meet our  present and future needs.  There are many  potential  solutions. Some of these might require extensive networks of pipes or electrical wiring.   We also could be looking  at nuclear power or “coal-fired” electric plants (more on this later) .  We must not forget solar power and wind energy which, if feasible,  might provide  the energy we need.

For some time the town has worked on a town ordinance which would regulate the installation and use of wind generators. The town  energy committee, chaired by Town Councilor John Abrams, has been researching the technical side of this issue for the past year.  Surprisingly, the Mayor of Edgewood, Bob Stearley, who had appointed that committee,  without waiting for the group’s final report and conclusions, came out against wind energy in a local newspaper article (see The Independent,Sep 23rd).  In his writing he challenged  citizens to research the internet for information on the negative aspects of  wind turbines. I, personally did  go to “wind turbine wars” on Google and I did, in fact find some negative data.  By the same token, I looked up “Wind Energy” also and found just as many articles attesting to the viability of “Wind’ as a potential cost-effective source.  Needless to say, not being an energy technician, I am now quite confused as to whether to support wind energy or not.

In view of the above, I have decided not to take a position on this issue until I am able to gain more comments from the energy committee and other sources. Having watched the group’s chairman at many council meetings, I have the utmost respect for him and his work.  Any  premature decisions on this subject , based upon “minimal” internet data, from potentially questionable sources, could have a devastating impact on our valley for many years to come.   I would hope to  soon hear some definitive input from the committee.

For those citizens who are concerned about this issue, a draft ordinance on wind generators will be discussed at the town council meeting  to be  held at the community center  October 7th at 6:30 P.M.  I would encourage anyone who can attend the meeting to do so. There could well be some changes in your long term lifestyle being discussed.In the event you are unable to attend and would like to comment on this issue, please send an Email to the town administrator,  Karen Mahalick, at planning@edgewood-nm.gov

According to the Mountain View Telegraph of October 1st,  a developer is planning to install 330 wind turbines near Duran, New Mexico. (This indicates that someone who is going to spend a lot of money believes that wind turbines are practical.)

Highlighting  the  ongoing importance of coal as an energy source, the National Nuclear Museum on Eubank SE in Albuquerque has a display which points out that 82% of coal mined in our country is used to power “coal-fired” electric power plants. Is there coal smoke in your future?  More important, how would this affect the environment that your grandchildren are growing up in?

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“Got Google” For Wind Turbine Success Stories

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009).

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

In a recent letter to editors on 9-21-09 for area newspapers, the mayor of Edgewood, New Mexico (my hometown), suggested that google® be consulted for accounts of wind turbine “battles.”  Mayor Bob Stearley, being opposed to wind turbines in our community, must not have figured that there are flip-sides to every google return.  But I, counting google as a close friend, saw an opportunity in his challenge to actually present residential wind turbine success stories.

While I do not wish to get into a battle where Mayor Stearley and myself bounce googles  back and forth, I do believe it is important to present refutations to Mayor Stearley’s scare mongering. So, without further ado, I present below, more than enough residential wind turbine success stories to set Mayor Stearley’s broken record in the correct groove. Just click on the link below. It will take you to articles and other information that will knock the horns from Mayor Stearley’s dilemma:

Wind Turbine Success

See more below:

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Windy City (Not Chicago) & Maybe Not Edgewood

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by Honoré Daumier.
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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009).

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Edgewood’s energy committee has worked hard for almost a year and our mayor has worked just as hard for the same time span (perhaps even harder) what with his kitchen cabinet meetings at various restaurants where he has espoused a philosophy in opposition to wind energy in Edgewood.

The latest from the mayor, just in front of a public meeting to discuss and perhaps pass a wind energy ordinance comes in the form of a letter sent to local newspaper editors.

In his letter the mayor puts forth arguments against wind energy in the Town of Edgewood and appears to use scare tactics; citing noise, obscured vistas, etc., to “blow” down the idea that wind energy might be practical and desirable  in our community. It is not so much what he says as it is what he does not say that is important. More on that in the future.

Edgewood  has applied for one or more grants for experimental wind turbines to help defray the cost of electricity for various public offices or facilities in our town. It is sad that the mayor’s constant opposition lobbying about wind energy may impact unfavorably on Edgewood’s chance to  get any part of the grant funding. It appears that Mayor Stearley has become Edgewood’s Don Quixote and tilts not only at big windmill blades, but small windmill blades as well (see letter).

The mayor, as are others, is entitled to his opposition, but one would hope that scare tactics would not be the lance chosen as a weapon against a technology proven many times over. Enough for now. I have posted the mayor’s letter to the local newspaper editors. It is interesting that he did not choose to send the letter to the local blog editors.

letter to editors 9-21-09

Please follow the related articles just below.

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The Wind, The Wind

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Not so long ago, when the Edgewood Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) allowed me to make a few remarks during one of their deliberations on the possibility of Edgewood having its very own wind energy ordinance, hopefully to be followed by wind turbines, I jokingly said that in my 60 plus years of living in New Mexico, I had called the wind Mariah  or on occassion, the blankedy-blank wind. Some members of the commission chuckled, after which I urged them to continue to use common sense as they deliberated and stated that I felt sure many citizens of Edgewood would support their common sense approach toward resolving the issues which had at that time been brought before them.

I spoke before the commission because I believe we should seize every opportunity to provide our society with, so far as is possible, sustainable models of power generation. Not that I subscribe to the theory, some would say proof, of global warming. As I look forward, and I don’t have forever to look in that direction, sustainability is not the same as taming “global warming.” It is much more. It is weaning ourselves from dependence on those who do not particularly like us, but that love our money and a lot of it. Sustainability also means that we have enough energy of every kind imaginable, so  that we remain strong and ever ready to defend ourselves from those who are hellbent on our destruction.

We do have a lot of wind in New Mexico and it doesn’t always (seldom actually) quit when the sun exits our horizon … as the sun must for at least several hours. Wind tests to determine adequacy for electricity generation have found that some areas of the Edgewood community have such wind on a more or less consistent basis.

So, it seems that the wind cooperates, those that market wind generation systems are likely to cooperate, those that are sold on the idea of wind generation will cooperate and there is no reason why our various levels of government should not do the same.

Speaking of wind generation for power, it looks like Santa Fe County has finally approved its first application for a wind turbine. The turbine has been erected, albeit after a seven month process, and is now providing energy for its owners who reside west of Santa Fe City. Here’s hoping that Edgewood will scurry safely along and spin the props before too much longer.

You can read more about Santa Fe County’s first wind turbine approval here. Altogether, it is a great story, but it does state that the wind turbine approved by the County of Santa Fe is the first electricity generating turbine in the county. Tain’t so. There used to be two here in Edgewood and one still spins along. Can you place its geographic location? Where was the other one?

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Solar Heaven Or A Scam Magnet

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot, ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article — Leave The Pseudonym Alone

According to a story in the online version of the Santa Fe New Mexican, a bill has been passed that will allow solar system installation on residences (maybe commercial, also?) and the owner will be able to pay for the system through increased property taxes. I suppose the devil or the angel is in the details and I am certainly hopeful that this program will work and not become a magnet for corruption. If it works, it could make the difference between being a consumer of electric power or a distributor of electric power for those able to participate in the program.

You can read the story from the Santa Fe New Mexican here  Solar System Heaven Or A Scam Magnet

30-Megawatt Solar Project, A Lot Or Not

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot, ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article — Leave The Pseudonym Alone

That’s what the electrical generating company that sells electricity to all of the electrical cooperatives in New Mexico will be constructing with their partner. It covers a sizable land mass and it generates enough electricity for 9,000 residences. While that is bound to be better than a fossil fuel plant, when will we have a really huge project, that might meet the economies of scale? Am I a naysayer  …  nay.

For more information, click here  Big Boy Solar Project?

Thanks to New Mexico Business Weekly, Nancy Salem, Editor