Clean Energy is Patriotic

A response to a comment that ‘environmentalists are anti-American’.
Top military advisors have repeatedly stated that US dependence on fossil fuels is a serious vulnerability for our national defense for several reasons.
First, the relatively small amount of oil and natural gas reserves on US territory, 4% of the world total, means that the prices and reliable provision of these fuels are not within our control. Wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen and algae fuel could all be manufactured in America, by Americans, and purchased for American security without giving favors to other countries or obligating us to meet their demands.
Second, the disruption of the climate mostly caused by burning fossil fuels is a threat to peace. Increasing droughts, floods, rising seas, acid oceans and fires are reducing food and water supplies and increasing instability, unrest and pressures to emigrate, a serious pressure on our military.

The cost of fuel is another factor. In 2010, army installations spent $2.1 billion on electricity. A $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil costs the military an extra billion.A strong American industry manufacturing green energy and efficiency technology would be of great benefit to our military. Changing electricity sources for military installations to clean energy would help scale up the industry and reduce prices.

Finally, there is a safety factor. Installing solar panels and insulation on tents to reduce fuel convoys saves troops’ lives. Reducing use of flammable and polluting fuels is better for our health. 

It is thoroughly American to protect the purity of our waters, the stability of our climate,  and the freedom of consumers to choose new and improved products free from unfair competition by entrenched monopolies.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/oct/28/oil-us-military-biofuels

http://bit.ly/11wje2a

http://www.cna.org/EnsuringFreedomofMovement

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism

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Grid systems balance power as wind and solar increase

How do we keep refrigerators running 24/7 as more solar and wind power is installed? Texas, California and Iowa are now getting 20% of their electricity from renewables; and the US average is 13% and growing.

Electricity needs to flow continuously. All power plants stop sometimes, for maintenance or accidents, and demand changes by the minute, with temperature changes or popular media events.

Grid operators are the quarterbacks; they keep it happening; they call the plays. Working in giant control rooms with huge arrays of dozens of screens monitoring electric input and output,  they balance the supply and move electricity to where it is needed. Weather reports help  grid operators plan. When the wind is dying down, or  clouds are on the horizon, operators pull power from other areas that are making plenty of electricity, or  turn on idled plants, and increase supply. The bigger the area served by a grid station, the more options it has for balancing the electric load.

Check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSiCRZcJnfE

Carbon Tax proposed to Congressional Committee

Three proposals listed in the House Ways & Means Committee report on tax reform call for a carbon tax: Center for American Progress (CAP) plan calls for a price on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2), an oil import fee of $5/barrel and elimination of US tax breaks for fossil fuels. and The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) calls for a tax on carbon at its source, an increase in motor fuel excise tax and elimination of tax preferences for fossil fuel production. The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network Budget for a Millennial America plan calls for an upstream carbon tax starting at $23/T and increasing 5.6% per year.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-113JPRT80634/pdf/CPRT-113JPRT80634.pdf

Smart Businesses Tackle Climate Change

Climate Declaration 800 px

The CEOs of 33 US companies have signed a Climate Declaration calling on America to take the lead in combating climate change.  They say the same policies that will help the climate are also smart business practices, – using less electricity, choosing clean energy technology and creating new export technologies.  They recommend a coordinated effort to stabilize the climate as also the way to maximize opportunities and remain a superpower in a competitive world.

Representing employment of half a million citizens and  $450billion/year in revenue, the corporate group emphasizes that the same policies that combat climate change are also smart business practices.

A recent study by PEW backs up the claim that there huge financial potential in green energy development. It found that clean energy investment has increased by 600% from 2004 to 2011. They project that installation of renewable energy over the next six years will result in additional revenue of $1.9 trillion.

http://www.ceres.org/bicep/climate-declaration

http://bit.ly/12gUVEY

 

Businesses Profit from City Solar

Lancaster CA has just updated its building code. Starting in 2014, all new single-family homes will have to include a solar system of at least 1.0 kW. The Republican mayor of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris, says the city wants to be the first to produce more electricity from sunlight it uses.

The city bought and installed solar panels on the roofs of 25 Lancaster schools that are now paying 35% less for electricity. Other solar installations have gone up on city hall, an arts center, stadium, and parking lots. There is a plan to create electric storage potential with more electric vehicles and batteries.

To get a permit to install solar in Lancaster takes 15 minutes.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/lancaster-calif-focuses-on-becoming-solar-capital-of-universe.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

Solar Competition in a Darwinian Marketplace

Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy, a developer of large utility solar projects was asked by Russell Gold, energy reporter with the WSJ about bankruptcies among solar energy companies.

This was his response.

“Nobody wants to see that kind of trouble, we think about jobs lost, it’s extremely painful. However, you have to put it in context. This is fundamentally a very exciting transformation This is an industry that in the last 10 years has taken the cost of solar panels from $5 per watt to around $.50 per watt.  As result of this transformation, it has moved solar power from one of the most expensive sources of electricity to one of the second or third least expensive sources of electricity.

Inevitably, a part of that process is going to be the creation of a very Darwinian, challenging environment, in which those who cannot keep up with the cost structure necessary to stay competitive are going to get restructured, fall by the wayside, get reabsorbed.

We have to put this event in that context.  There are numbers of solar manufacturers demonstrating they do have cost structures that work in today’s prices. So that means that this industry can continue to deliver solar electricity at increasingly competitive costs.”

http://on.wsj.com/16NdWOg

Republicans Want Green Energy Economy

Should the US use more solar, wind or geothermal energy?  77% of Republicans who answered that question said ‘Yes.’

Should the US take action to use less fossil fuel? 64% of Republicans in a poll said ‘Yes.’

In a recent poll   by the Center for Climate Change Communication, Republican adults, expressed support for pursuit of a greener path.

Republican politicians have disdained hearings about climate science, voted against environmental protection for our vital resources, and scorned the economic potential of green technology.

Nevertheless, their constituents see the advantages of clean energy, in particular: reducing dependence on foreign oil, preserving resources for our children, improving our health, 4protecting the creation, creating jobs and a stronger climate, saving species, limiting climate change and improving national security.

What they want to avoid is more government regulation, higher energy prices, fewer jobs, or interference with the free market. Sounds like something we can work with.