2/13/2005

Joyous Reunion

Well after what was supposed to be a six week vacation, turned into a five month one, my newly minted/reconditioned windmill has been reunited with its long legged support system! After a round trip by truck to Norman OK, its original birthplace, and many anxious e-mails, it finally arrived "home " on BI. After languishing in the dark of our new building it has finally seen the light and found its"wings" again. Since it went up Wednesday, it has produced a little over 175 KWH's of Mr. Franklin's little discovery. Thats about a third of my monthly bill in just five days!

So this leads me to answer 11:42 Anony from the Bipco post last week, plus a little rambling on. Yes alternative energy is expensive, although the solar part is becoming less so if you don't go with the battery storage system. They are the killer. These types of alt. energy production don't always need separate accessory buildings. I have none, nor does my son with his solar array. Being tied into the grid puts all the excess electricity that I don't use back out there for someone else to use. This is juice that the power company DID NOT generate and therefore no oil was burned. They had no over head, maintainence, or wages to pay on those kwh's. I got reimbursed about 8 to 9 cents per kwh and they turned around and sold it to my neighbors for well over 25 cents per! Pretty good return huh? This is the ONLY power company in this state, and I think in the US that does NOT have what is called "net metering". That is in effect that the meter runs forward or backward depending on whether I am "taking" or "giving" electricity. When this net metering is in effect, I could run the meter backwards all winter when the wind blows like hell and "bank" it, then take it back when the wind doesn't blow. Somehow or other, when this all came before the PUC, Mr McGinnes convinced them that I was going to put him out of business it they let net metering come into being. Well, what with the way all the people with the deep pockets were able to get the zoning laws revised to their satisfaction, there will be no more windmills put up this Island, until a more enlightened group takes a grip on the reins that steer the policy making decisions around here.

So after years of reading trade journals, etc. it is becoming more and more evident to a lot of people a lot smarter than me, that the oil reserves, thought by some to be good for another thousand years, have sharply revised this estimate downward to about 30 to 40 years. The increased demand put on the oil producers of the world, by the burgeoning economies of China and India, is now thought to be going to drive the price of oil up to $70 a barrel by the end of NEXT YEAR! And up too $150 -$175 a barrel by 2015-2018! There MAY be oil out there, but who the hell is going to be able to afford to buy it! Think what happens when the oil runs out if there is no viable alternative? Think of all the things that are made of plastic! That ubiquitious substance that dominates our daily life. It is in everything.I sit here writing this and look around me and 90 percent of every object I touch or see has the oil based derivative in it. I kind of expect to be out of the picture by then, but I have great feelings of unease and discomfort thinking of what is in store for my children and grandchildren. They will have to live with the consequences of what their parents and grendparents did or did NOT do in the area of alternative energy research and development.

So until the scientists and physicists get the fuel cell problems solved, and the cold fusion form of energy into a usable form, I guess other than the basic forms of wind, solar, geothermal, wave energy, hydro- electric, etc. we will have to turn to that dreaded form of energy production, nuclear energy, pronounced by many commentators who should know better, "nuculear" ! When and if all else fails, I guess we'll just have to give a call to Scotty and see if he has any spare dilithium crystals on board that he can spare! Beam me up Scotty, there IS no intelligent life down here! TIFN Everett

6 comments:

Mike Murphy said...

I agree that fossil fuels are not the long term answer but until the other alternatives become economically viable, that is all we have. Your comment about fuel cells may be a bit pessimistic. There are many fuel cell projects underway and they are getting bigger all the time. LIPA on Long Island just issued an RFP for a 10 Megawatt fuel cell project. There are many 200 Kilowatt fuel cells in operation today for distributed generation. The cost is about $3,000 per KW installed. My recommendation would be to take all the Town buildings (Town Hall, Police/Fire Station, DPW, Sewer Plant,etc.) off the grid and equip them each with 20 KW fuel cells or microturbines. In addition to power, they can also provide heat and hot water. The Federal government has many grants to support these types of projects for public buildings. The only issue is that fuel cells and microturbines still require some type of fuel. It is usually natural gas, but propane will do.

Ex-Manissean said...

It will be awhile before substitutes are availabe. Once Oil hits $70 a barrel a lot of Coal and Shale mines will be back in business since extraction will become profitable.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the new town hall has any alternative energy plans or applied for any grants considering the town is questioning BIPCo's increases. Wanna bet they dont... lotta space there to put a windmill... but we know how it goes, day late and a dollar short - they'll be hooked up to BIPCo ASAP.

Anonymous said...

What is happening with the new town hall. How long are we going to have to look at those ugly trailers. The parking is are is too muddy so those employees park in the front. Where is the public supposed to park. Isn't town hall supposed to be for the public to access.Where are the plans. Are they stuck on someone's desk or have they even moved in the past 8 months.

Newbie said...

I know the Corn Neck residents have had a bad experience with windmills but... I think the dump is a good place to put one or more windmills. As long as they are as quiet as yours Everett.

Anonymous said...

windmills (plural) would be great at the dump!!!!