Washington State Clean Energy Leader Governor Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee spoke at the Washington Clean Technology Alliance conference on Clean Energy. Jan 28, 2013:
To hear his remarks go to http://americansecurityproject.org/blog/2013/gov-inslee-speech-at-clean-energy-conference-in-seattle/
The following is a condensed, approximate transcript of what he said.
“This is the season. Clean energy technologies are becoming mature. Last Saturday I went to the launch of world’s largest long liner fishing ship; it is 20% more efficient than other ships like it. It is made by welders, machinists, and carpenters, and it is in the water today. Everywhere I look in Washington State, there is work in green technology. Dave Curry in Spokane has a new way to store energy in batteries. In Marysville they are making new tougher solar panels. We have a maturation of these innovations. This is a time to speak up about the successes.
A superstorm targeted the media center of the world. It demands attention. There have been terrible fires in the Cascades, and oyster growers have had to move part of their operations to Hawaii. The public is ready, poised and ready.
My election is a mandate, and now we have a partner in Washington DC.
The military is committed to move ahead. They are developing net zero training bases. A jet flew over sound barrier on biofuel; they call it the green hornet.
We do not have any other choice. The Chinese are not waiting for us. Germans and Portuguese are not waiting for us. This is an opportunity, not an entitlement. Time demands that we move.
We have a period of opportunity. We are going to push the envelope, here in Washington. We did that in commercial aircrafts and we led the world. We did it in software and we led the world. Now is the time to lead the way in clean energy.
Policy is important in pushing the envelope. Here is what we are going to do in the State of WA.
First, incentivize small but meaningful ways to generate capital with tradable R& D tax credits which can be traded to help people start their own business even before get revenue. A couple of other states, including New Jersey, have tried this and it has succeeded.
Businesses need to get started; waiting for permits is not good. Time is money, we need to streamline the permit system.
We have 600 students waiting to get into engineering school. We need their skills. So we will build an educational system that prepares people to work in high tech so when need computational scientists, we can get them. We need to build an outstanding educational system, and invest more in public research institutions.
Products need to move, so we need to increase freight mobility and at the same time reduce carbon pollution throughout the system in all modalities. We will expand incentives for renewable energy, and build a transportation system designed to reduce carbon intensity across Washington State.
I want everyone here to help me. It is time.”


Washington State Clean Energy Industry

Where can you find the most new jobs in technology? According to Forbes, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area took first place last year in growth in technology jobs, including software, internet publishing, science, engineering and math.  The growth is not just in large corporations, but also in new, innovative start-ups. Appropriately Washington, with its natural beauty, is a leader in advancements in green technology.  

McKinstry is a leader in consulting and construction for energy efficient buildings, both public and private projects, employing over 1600 people. Silicon Energy in Marysville makes solar panels with a durable glass-on-glass design. From Liberty Lake come storage batteries and control systems by Demand Energy Networks. Larger institutions participate also; Boeing’s new 787 uses 20% less fuel, and it is working to develop aviation fuel from algae.

Research helps prime the pump. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, researchers are working on batteries for vehicles and for grid-scale storage, bio-based fuel alternatives and a range of energy saving technologies.



Business of Clean Technology

Government support for clean technology was the topic of a meeting of the Renewable Energy Meetup on January 16th in Seattle.

Burt Hamner, who invited the participants, is an example of innovative, entrepreneurial success. He founded Hydrovolts in 2007, which now manufactures small electric generators for use in wastewater treatment plants and irrigation canals, with a local staff of nine.  In Washington last year, 83,676   people worked in clean technology. The state is a leader in advancements in green technology, including building efficiency, electrical storage, solar panel manufacture, and pollution reduction.

Washington State government, with a policy of promoting both sustainability and new jobs for the growing population, provides programs to help companies develop new industry, relocate to Washington, and export products. Innovate Washington is a public/private organization that helps entrepreneurs strategize, find funding, and take new products to market.

Tim Stearns, with the State Department of Commence Energy Office, pointed out that one barrier to growth in the solar market is the many different requirements for installation in the states’ 285 cities and 62 utilities.  He is working with the Evergreen State Solar Partnership to streamline and reduce the expense of permitting, zoning and utility connection processes for solar technology.

Tim pointed out that sustainability is advancing from a variety of directions, for example a new composting program University of Washington, increasing off-grid capability at Fort Lewis, and carbon pricing in Oregon.

The Seattle City Office of Economic Development and Office of Sustainability help with financing projects and with money saving reductions in carbon emissions.

King County is using energy efficient technology to save money for taxpayers with innovative resource recovery programs such as harnessing methane, and auditing energy use to select the most efficient equipment and processes. At the West Point wastewater plant, they will be recovering waste heat and also methane to run the facility, according to Jessie Israel who works with the county’s wastewater program. In the future, she expects that we will have technology allowing households to use the heat that now leaves our homes in sewer pipes to lower heating bills.

Clean Energy Investment Now to Reduce Storm Damages Later

The most important long-range action utilities can take to reduce damages and suffering from big storms is to make them less likely to happen by switching to clean energy. The link between burning oil, coal and natural gas and the increasing intensity of extreme weather events is well documented.and increasingly obvious.
Many states have adopted Renewable of Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards which promote decreasing use of fossil fuels, and utilities help their customers lower electricity with rebates for saving electricity, such as with insulation or efficient appliances. Still, worldwide carbon emissions are increasing.

Taxpayers are paying for the clean up of storm damage, and many other secondary costs of using fossil fuels. The industry should be responsible for its own costs it incurs. A carbon tax on oil, coal and natural gas with revenue returned to households would shift the responsibility for paying costs of using fossil fuel back on users and allow clean energy to compete fairly. Other countries would be likely to collect their own carbon taxes, rather than pay a tariff to another government.

A bloggers comment:  “LS, That is a BIG LIE you are repeating, Sandy was a relatively small storm that hit at a High tide and a lower then “normal ” pressure differential….
If your statement was true, there would be constantly falling records world wide, It isn’t so. Silly regulations enacted to appease Eco-Nutters faith based Dogmas of Anti-Carbon usage have excerbated the storm damage problems…”

My response: 

It is great that you are looking to records to inform your opinion. Here are some sources to consider.  Regarding weather records: The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a source that would be accepted in a court of law. NCAR reports that …”daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States, new research shows. The ratio of record highs to lows is likely to increase dramatically in coming decades if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to climb.

According to NASA: “ January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Throughout the last three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.2°C (0.36°F) per decade.”
The Geophysical Fluid dynamics Laboratory at NOAA reports,  “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm….”