Posted: Thursday, January 06, 2011 11:00 AM
Wind energy 'dysfunctional'
In a recent column, Carl Sampson wrote, "I should say here that I am not opposed to wind turbines. I'm opposed to subsidizing wind turbines."
When you preface your opposition to wind subsidies by stating you have no problem with the technology, you drain your argument of reason and suasion.
All conventional power technologies are subsidized -- and the public and consumers benefit from the convergence. The reason not to subsidize wind is that it provides no modern power. Instead, wind generates dysfunctional, hiccuping energy that cannot be converted to modern power performance, in the process making electricity production less efficient and more expensive.
"Wind is the worst of all worlds, inducing a double whammy for rate and taxpayers." The subsidies are wasted because they produce no benefit and the inefficiencies require costs to substantially increase, raising rates.
Such articles as this only add to the Orwellian crossover into the Twilight Zone....
Biomass won't boost economy
I notice many articles about biomass and how our government is doing backflips to get the thing going, and I thought I would share some thoughts, experiences and concerns.
First is the notion that the timber industry can supply it. At current harvest levels it cannot. Especially to get the tonnage needed it would cut into the paper chip market.
Contrary to some who say saw logs would not go to that market, they are right except that young reproduction stands would be mowed down at a younger age and never make it to saw log age.
Besides, some environmental group would come along and say some bug needs the limbs and other slash generated. Oh, and by the way, I had 70-plus acres of stumps and limbs in piles with gravel road access and could not sell it.
Second is the fact that we have already seen the effects of ethanol on the feed markets, and I hear it is going up as well.
The other thing that really bothers me most is that our government, in near-depression times, is trying to jump-start our economy with new, unproven industries instead of relying on proven real economy-based industries that helped build this country.
For example, they promote a non-timber related economy in a region that is rich in natural resources like the Pacific Northwest and leave the lumber production to the Canadians.
Our governor-elect said he would create timber jobs. We will see. Last time I looked, about half of our state's timber is under federal control, so let's see what he can do about that.
Posted By: Allen Hurlburt On: 1/6/2011
Title: CEO H & M Gopher Control
Interesting comments, but a bit lacking. Wind energy is OK, but I agree it should stand on its own merits. In good locations, it is a good form of energy, but still in its infancy. The commercialization will make it happen, but it is not and never will be a cheap source of energy. It probably need subsides but needs limitations.
Biomass has a big future and should be subsidized because it has the potential to turn wast products into energy. It can limit land fills as well as air pollution. But there is a huge BUT here. There are limited situations that should be met when a biomass plant is put in place. First is that the very latest technology should be implemented to limit carbon dioxide emissions. This is not rocket science, it can be done and even have income from the recovery process. Any new instillation should incorporate several factors. First it should be 50 megawatts. This has tax advantages as well as economies of size. Second, it should incorporate both biomass products, forest waste, urban waste as well as ground tires. Tires has a huge input in creating efficiency. They increase the internal temperatures and thus increase the total output of energy from the same tonnage of biomass.
I have rather extensive experience in this field and believe that there should be subsidies but -- they should be very selective in placing the money in efficient locations and operations. Tax payer dollars can be saved and diverted if a biomass plant is located to maximize inputs vs energy production. A reduction in land fills, disasters from tire piles burning and or creating serous mosquito breeding ground and burning for energy forest wast products rather than just burning slash piles.
Subsidies efficiency placed can be a huge benefit to the tax payer but to subsidized all comers is a stupid waste of money.