Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine

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I’m worried for Portland and all the cities that are going to be threatened by rising waters as a result of climate change. In order to reduce carbon emissions and reverse climate change, I think that Maine should use a combination of three energy sources: wind, solar, and biofuels.

Wind power creates jobs, is renewable and affordable. In the short term it is really expensive, but in the long run it will be worth the expense.

Solar energy is another renewable energy source that will move Maine into the future. Niall McCarthy of Forbes said “according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector’s workforce in 2016.” Solar creates a great deal of jobs, and the demand for them will rise.

Biofuels are one more source that Maine could use to take into the carbon neutral future. According to Conserve Energy Future “they are cleaner fuels, which means they produce fewer emissions on burning.” Biofuels would bring down overall pollution, as well as being carbon limiting.

By using these three energy sources, Maine could be carbon neutral.

James Cagney V
Portland

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  • The expense is coming down and is now competitive with old coal plants.

    https://climatecrocks.com/2018/01/15/game-change-wind-solar-plus-battery-breakthrough/

    ThinkProgress:

    Solar, wind, and battery prices are dropping so fast that, in Colorado, building new renewable power plus battery storage is now cheaper than running old coal plants. This increasingly renders existing coal plants obsolete.

    • cali sol

      Maine doesn’t have coal-fired power plants and doesn’t use electricity generated out of state by the few remaining ones. The cost of wind is increasing rapidly as all the associated costs become evident; and citizen protests are forcing wind farmers to provide an environmental impact statement—carefully, omitted from the current law , which covers both the pad and the extensive transmission lines.

      Only the wealthy now have solar power supplies, few have some kind of battery backup; most have a grid tie and a backup generator; and all have service contracts of some kind. Even worse the ones in Mid Coast are token installations; fixed position, non-tracking providing minimal capture of solar radiation.

      • Only the wealthy? Not so. Its becoming more affordable all the time. Panels are now down below a dollar a watt.

        Hidden wind power costs? Am I getting this right? Somehow those funding windpower have been naive all along? How much are you going to stretch things here?

        By 2020 there are studies showing renewable energy will compete with fossil fuels one on one. Why have dirty, when you can have clean?

        • cali sol

          Then pay for it out of your own pocket; not mine; and be sure the costs of providing you power when the sun isn’t shining or wind blowing…..and if you can afford that; you probably already live in Yarmouth or S. Freeport in one of the poor neighborhoods.

          • I get 100% wind electricity now, My neighbor is a very stable grid.

          • Jim_L

            Except when the wind doesn’t blow. How can you make such a ridiculous statement?

          • Lets see, a company manages for me buying wind energy credits covering my usage of electricity. All the other services take place as normal keeping my electricity constant to my home.

          • Jim_L

            So you own the wind turbines? And you are hooked up to the grid? Interesting . . . . have not heard of that. I have solar panels on my camp and am NOT connected to the grid because THERE is NO GRID THERE! I bought the system, no subsidies or tax breaks and I maintain it.

        • Jim_L

          Sounds to me by your moniker that you might have a dog in this fight. Solar might hit 5% of our energy production, but still needs to be backed up either in home installations or in industrial installations. Renewables will NEVER compete one on one with fossil fuels. NEVER. Stop spreading false renewable talking points.

  • Wind and solar plus battery storage had seven bids for a total of 4,048 MWh at a median bid of $30.60. GOT THAT RIGHT ……….. Cheap Power at 30¢ / Kwh. Plus nearly an equal amount for Transmission in some places.

    CO² still being added in all phases of creating these Green Dream Machines.

    Environmental damages galore in mineral extractions somewhere on the planet. Great way to save the Planet BTW.

    Some are convinced that BioMass from Forests is cleaner, when it in fact produces the same level of CO² as Coal.

    Humanity alone produces 8.93 million tons of CO² per day sitting in Idle mode. God forbid they ever work again vs using electricity to perform work.

    Imagine how much CO² the rest of life must produce in all its forms.

    Ranging from 7,000 parts Per Million to 85 PPM over measurable Earth history,
    when the Antarctic ice sheet started to take its current form, CO2 is found to have been about 760 ppm, so I guess we may be on a path to Global Freezing.

  • cali sol

    Mr. Cagney’s opinion reflects the climate change hysteria generated by the mass media using unrelated facts like the rise in ocean levels which have been going on since the end of the ice age at a rate predicted by the Maine State Geologist of 7- 11 inches a century.

    Any build up of CO2 in the atmosphere results in a corresponding increase in photosynthesis both on land in the forest and woodlands and in the ocean. CO2 is converted into life sustaining oxygen, water, and stored as carbon…and you have to do is plant trees, preferably hardwoods, and insist that local planning agencies measure the environmental impact of clear-cuts–even Bowdoin College thinks nothing of the loss of CO2 conversion when it clear cuts trees for it’s buildings, nor does it fully offset the loss with reforestation despite its vast land holdings.

    Mr. Cagney seems to forget that the forest is also a habitat for birds, bees, and animals; it removes other pollutants from the air; and both tempers and restores rain water to the aquifer. Acidic runoff is one of the leading causes of coastal ocean acidification; and root systems the solution.

    Maine is well on it’s way to being both carbon free and using 100% renewable energy at cost that doesn’t only benefit the wealthy, but the poor. Using hydro-power from Quebec could make us 100% renewable in a relatively short time and at 20 year contracts that would be the envy of other New England states. An energy ‘pipeline’ from the Canadian border to N.H. hidden in the I 95 Right of Way would enable distribution to grid points along the way, and also provide enough power for recharging stations and perhaps even high speed rail.

    Mainers have voted for natural gas with their ever expanding use of it to generate electricity locally, heat their homes and water, dry their clothes, and for a growing number power their vehicles with CNG. The gas can be ‘mined’ i.e. Sable Island and the Marcelleous Shale reserves; or generated from organic waste now deposited in land fills.

    As Governor LePage has so forcefully proclaimed, biomass boilers are cost IN-EFFECTIVE and require subsidies, CHP not so much. But because the ‘fuel’ for local anaerobic digesters is delivered to the land fill; both transportation and processing costs are greatly reduced. Mr. Cagney should find out how much is delivered to his dump and join interested citizens in costing out a small anaerobic digester to convert this organic waste into methane which can supplement and even replace natural gas used by the town and schools, i.e power the school buses, for example.

  • Jim_L

    Mr Cagney;
    Take your ideology and exit the expert only door. Your facts are completely wrong, as all renewable promoters always are. The sea is NOT rising, in fact NOAA said it fell last year. It has been on a steady rise if about 3cm per decade for the last 150 years and has not accelerated or changed except going down last year.

    Wind and solar are NOT competitive with natural gas if there was ample supply of Natural gas, and that has been blocked by all the major “environmental” groups. Wind and solar are not economical especially when you tout how many jobs it takes to make a meager amount of energy. In cost per Mwh wind is about 5 times that of hydro, 3 times gas and 3 times coal. To create jobs for the sake of jobs is ludicrous when those jobs create unreliable, intermittent power that has to be backed up by the big boys anyway, big boys that operate with far fewer workers. You commented that solar employed 43% of all energy production workers and produced less than 5% of our energy . . . talk about wasteful.

    And biofuels? They burn as dirty as coal but they do get rid of waste we would have to buty somewhere anyway, so at least they provide a function and are reliable.

    Please review your facts before you make a fool of yourself and publish BS that fits the party talking points.

    • Sea level rise has been shown to start rising at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Otherwise earth should be mildly heading into another ice age. We have reversed that trend.

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/should_earth_be_cooling.html

      Indeed all climate models strive to identify the impact of natural mechanisms as compared to anthropogenic, or man-made, ones. The general conclusion has been that models of strictly natural influences do a pretty good job at reproducing real world, pre-industrial climate conditions but that the influence of mankind must be incorporated in order to reproduce the climate conditions of the industrial era. But at what point does the human component overwhelm its natural counterparts, when Mother Nature says we should be going in one direction while reality is going the opposite?

      • Jim_L

        Not true. Sea level rise started at the end of the last ice age. It went up 400 meters. That’s right METERS! And it has only been measured since 1880 and has been going up on the average of 3cm/DECADE since they have been measuring; No more mo less. And it has NOT changed in the last 20 years from that.

        All the “models” of climate are just that, theoretical “Models”. NONE and I mean NONE of the predictions of these models have come to fruition since that mad scientist and inventor of the internet, AlGore, lied to us again in his inconvenient lie movie.

        We know you must be integrally adhered to this industry or you wouldn’t be defending the indefensible.

        • You seem to believe that sea level is this stable thing all through the last 20,000 years. There are years of quite rapid sea level rise. To say that can’t happen again is misleading yourself.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise#Past_changes_in_sea_level

          Solid geological evidence, based largely upon analysis of deep cores of coral reefs, exists only for 3 major periods of accelerated sea level rise, called meltwater pulses, during the last deglaciation. They are Meltwater pulse 1A between circa 14,600 and 14,300 calendar years ago; Meltwater pulse 1B between circa 11,400 and 11,100 calendar years ago; and Meltwater pulse 1C between 8,200 and 7,600 calendar years ago. Meltwater pulse 1A was a 13.5 m rise over about 290 years centered at 14,200 calendar years ago and Meltwater pulse 1B was a 7.5 m rise over about 160 years centered at 11,000 years calendar years ago. In sharp contrast, the period between 14,300 and 11,100 calendar years ago, which includes the Younger Dryas interval, was an interval of reduced sea level rise at about 6.0–9.9 mm/yr. Meltwater pulse 1C was centered at 8,000 calendar years and produced a rise of 6.5 m in less than 140 years.[16][17][18] Such rapid rates of sea level rising during meltwater events clearly implicate major ice-loss events related to ice sheet collapse. The primary source may have been meltwater from the Antarctic ice sheet. Other studies suggest a Northern Hemisphere source for the meltwater in the Laurentide ice sheet.[18]

          • Jim_L

            In the last 150 years there has been negligible meltwater increases, and over the last 20 years virtually none. While Greenland melted for several years, it has virtually regained its ice layer, and Antarctica has actually GAINED ice for more than 5 decades. Sure there are calving incidents that have made the greenies excited, but overall the ice has increased. That has been going on for centuries. Actual sea rise has NOT gone up in the last 150 years any more than it ever did, and those are FACTS! Take a look at Holland and their dike system.

          • https://sealevel.nasa.gov/

            NASA disagrees with you Jim. All the evidence shows ice down and sea level up.