Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blackout (Part II)

Another problem with weather produced energy, many wind and solar power plants are built in secluded areas, far away from the power grid. Think about it; the best place to build a solar power station is in the desert and the most efficient wind farms are in secluded West Texas. Hydropower, on the other hand, is generally located in close proximity to power grids. This makes sense since most communities are generally built near lakes and rivers. Thus, expensive infrastructure projects are needed to connect the power grid to isolated wind and solar power plants. And let’s not forget that weather patterns change over time and those consequences can be devastating and render renewable power plants useless. For instance, a volcanic eruption can reduce the output from a solar power plant significantly over a long stretch of time. For this reason, renewable energies are both expensive and unreliable. Only hydro power is comparable in the cost to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity with coal, gas (natural), and nuclear. The cost to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity from wind or solar power plants is on average 3 times more expensive than coal, gas, and nuclear sources. This explains why energy costs in California are so high. Twenty percent of their energy is mandated to come from renewable sources. Besides, California must import most of its power because of these same restrictions. Thus, it makes more sense to build nuclear power plants within a close proximity to power grids instead of building isolated wind and solar power plants. This would be a smart power grid, but unfortunately, that is not the Obama or progressive plan. Renewable power plants should be built and added to the grid once the energy is cost effective. Finally, a smart power grid consists of having smart meters tied to every home and business. A smart meter allows individuals and corporation to obtain much more statistical data about their power usage. It would reward people and corporations with lower energy prices for using power at non-peak hours. It would give electric companies the power to control the electricity usage of home owners with their permission. But is it really cost efficient to upgrade every home with a 300 to 500 dollar smart meter? This will cost energy companies billions and of course that cost will be passed on to the user. And statistics indicate that 90% of all Americans will not use any of the new information obtained from a smart meter to lower their energy consumption. If people were conscience about saving energy they could do it with or without a smart meter. First of all, anyone with a first grade education can read any current analog electricity meter to monitor their daily consumption. Secondly, people can buy smart electronic devices if they want to conserve energy. Smart devices use less power and can be programmed to run more efficiently. And this can be done without the federal government trying to control our daily lives. Really, the only people that need a smart meter are those residences that create their own power and want to sell any reserves back to the power company. Current projects to upgrade our power grid are going to be costly and this cost will be passed on to the consumer. Obama’s plan for a smart power grid is convoluted and discombobulated at best. The administration is attacking this problem backwards. For instance, the first thing they are doing in various regions is upgrading the old analog meters on all homes with smart meters. This should be the last step of this arduous process to upgrade our power grid. After all, what good are meters if you do not have enough power to supply homes because the grid is exposed to natural and manmade disasters? And the Obama plan to force the usage of more renewable energies sounds admirable on the surface, but this will result in higher energy prices. And what’s worse, energy prices will double if Obama gets his way and begins to tax carbon emissions. The Obama energy plan will be disastrous to the economy. Higher energy costs to produce products will force more jobs overseas. The same thing happened in Spain who tried to create a green jobs environment. For every green job they created over 1.5 jobs left the economy. And let’s not forget, if the U.S. becomes completely green and does not emit one ounce of carbon emissions to produce energy, its effect on the global environment and climate change will be infinitesimal. If other populous and industrial growing nations such as China and India do not go green, it does not matter what the U.S. does. (for paragragph form blogs). My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

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