The Blustery Winds of Stupidity Hit Weyburn Hard #skpoli

At least 2 Weyburn City Councillors were not duped by anti-Wind propaganda that afflicts many municipalities. There’s probably no bylaw against this family running a noisy, polluting diesel generator in their backyard, contributing to poor health of their neighbours. I’d have to reason that the neighbour(s) who complained about this windmill isn’t very bright.

The time frame given to Dustin and Vanessa Storle, owners of the turbine, was to have it removed by July 30. After this, there will be no more residential wind power in the windy city of Weyburn.

I hope they find a resident of a less backward Rural Municipality to install their turbine, and split the profits. It’ll probably work better unencumbered by surrounding buildings anyway, which can dampen the wind speed required for maximum output.

There’s probably some multi-century conspiracy from windmill owners to install these tornado generating devices all over the planet. I haven’t figured out the physics for how an energy receiving device is adding low frequency energy to air pressure, but maybe one of the crackpot geniuses in Weyburn can spell it out. They sure convinced the more gullible of their city council to fall for the hoax that wind power is unsuitable for homeowners.

Meanwhile, another municipality outside of Regina is on the verge of getting rich instead.

A public meeting will be held [Tuesday] east of Regina in McLean on a proposed wind farm in the area.

The RM of South Qu’Appelle is holding the meeting to determine if there is public support for the proposal.

So far, some landowners have expressed opposition to the project, citing concerns about vibration, impact on wildlife and livestock and other possible health problems.

The project would first require a test tower. The meeting starts at 7 pm Tuesday at the McLean Community Centre. The RM Council will decide whether to proceed with appropriate bylaws if there is sufficient support for the proposal.

The concern the oil and gas industry shows for “wildlife, livestock, and possible health problems” is world renowned. I can’t imagine how a greener alternative to oil, coal, and gas could possibly kill more.

UPDATE:
There’s no much “debate“, because the anti-Wind folks don’t have facts to back up their conjecture.

300 Years Is Bogus

Thanks to another letter writer, Michael McKinlay, I caught this opportunity to again offer a better future perspective than SaskPower’s current President has done thus far.

http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/an-irrational-mixup-at-saskpower/

I’m writing in response to SaskPower President and CEO Robert Watson’s comments in the November 25th article, “SaskPower set to overhaul power grid“. In it he touts a “300-year supply” of coal, as he has since at least 2012 when he used that imprecise figure in a Financial Post article. Doing a wider search of the web, you can find unqualified people using the same “300-year” claim since 2010 in the UK and the US, referring to their own coal supplies. Key words like “recoverable” and “proven” are not present in Mr. Watson’s claim. Many reputable academics estimate world peak coal could come as soon as the 2030s. After that decade it barely matters if there’s coal available, because the cost will be going through the stratosphere.

A more prudent use of our remaining coal supply is to build an energy technology for the future. There are many renewable options for Saskatchewan, including wind and solar power. Our wind potential is significant, and our solar potential rivals the global powerhouse Germany, as we’re at a similar latitude and get even more sunny days.

I’d prefer the smart grid Mr. Watson talked about included plenty of solar generated electricity. A compelling story in the Star Phoenix on November 4th included engineer Brent Veitch who explained a $20,000 solar electricity system is already able to pay itself off in less than 20 years in Saskatchewan. That seems a smarter investment for homeowners, than to buy into Mr. Watson’s subsidization of a 20th century fossil-fueled grid.

This letter above appeared in the Star-Phoenix this past week.

Continue reading

We Have The Technology to Stop Air Pollution

Listen to a scientist say very clearly that we have the science and technology to create 100% renewable power in the United States within my lifetime (2050).

We’re only held back by politicians who fail to implement an urgent plan to save us, as they were required to when implementing policy during WWII from another clear threat to the American way of life.

An Irrational Mixup at SaskPower

Ten years ago, SaskPower was spending money to promote education about Climate Change.

The poster contest is an important component of our efforts to educate the public about the climate change issue. There are increasing concerns that human activity – such as the burning of coal and other fossil fuels to generate electricity – contributes to climate change, which has been associated with increased risk of droughts, heat waves and storms.

Yet a decade later its CEO and President, Robert Watson, has written the Star Phoenix dismissing a good question from a Saskatoon Community Wind representative, James Glennie, to meaningfully reduce pollution. Why isn’t SaskPower investing heavily in distributed power generation from renewable sources like wind, and solar thermal and photovoltaic? Our coal-burning crown corporation last year on its website was citing a study into solar power, conducted in the year 2000, to dismiss solar as a viable commercial power generation option. It sounded suspiciously similar to Mr. Watson’s excuses given to Mr. Glennie’s good ideas. We know technology has changed significantly since 2000, not only in computers, but in solar panels and solar thermal. Saskatchewan home owners installing net metered solar arrays, now expect to make profit on their investments, in as few as ten years pay-back time.

Instead of giving ‘Can’t-Do’ excuses for why it’s more difficult to use solar and wind in Saskatchewan’s tough climate, our crown corporation’s CEO could co-opt can-do direction from Saskatchewan people, and develop renewable energy technology right here. We can sell those adaptations abroad to other places with harsh, sunny Winters. I’m also not pleased with a SaskPower VP telling me last year, there’s a high cost for “utilities in the Northern Hemisphere” to use solar. Have they not seen what Germany, Spain, Ontario, California, and other utilities in our hemisphere are investing in? Every American border station has a large solar power installation because it’s “a high cost”? I don’t think so. Judging by SaskPower’s President’s remarks in the paper, innovation and change will come from the bottom up.

Below is a re-write of Mr. Watson’s letter to the editor, which cuts through the BS.

I’d like to provide additional information on SaskPower’s plans for a power generation mix that has served to make Saskatchewan, Canada’s worst per-capita air polluter.

Unlike fossil fuel sources, which can produce power and greenhouse gas constantly, wind and solar are not sources of greenhouse gases (i.e. they don’t cause climate change) and can meet our day-to-day requirements if we change how we use electricity. We can keep fossil fuels as emergency backup only.

Wind power is intermittent and cannot be effectively stored without innovation SaskPower is not willing or able to provide. Our province’s wind conditions allow for turbines to generate electricity nearly 40 per cent of the time, which is as much time in the day as you might directly need immediate electricity. They do not produce greenhouse gas or smog, which makes them safer than coal plants. We don’t paint windmills black to naturally heat them, so when it’s too cold outside we shut them down and lose potential generation revenue.

Solar power, in various forms, is suitable for widespread generation in Saskatchewan because the technology has improved immensely and is set to become cheaper than coal within the life-span of many coal turbines already built.

SaskPower will continue to ignore innovation so it has to invest less in retraining engineers who are really good at operating coal turbines and conventional grids, but don’t seem to have a sniff about how to create a distributed smart grid of renewable energy with a fossil fuel backup system.

Now, the real, depressing letter:

A rational mix
Robert Watson, Letter to the The Starphoenix
Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013

In response to James Glennie’s letter Blown opportunity (SP, Aug. 26), I’d like to provide additional information on SaskPower’s plans for a power generation mix that will serve Saskatchewan today and into the future.

Unlike geothermal sources, which can produce power constantly, wind and solar are not sources of baseload power (i.e. stable, constant) and cannot meet our day-today requirements due to the unpredictable nature of the source.

Wind power is intermittent and cannot be effectively stored for future use. Our province’s wind conditions allow for turbines to generate electricity nearly 40 per cent of the time. They do not produce when there is too little or too much wind (for safety reasons) or it’s too cold outside.

Solar power is not suitable for large-scale generation in Saskatchewan because of its high cost and low capacity factors.

There is certainly a place for these power sources in our generation mix – Sask-Power currently has approximately 200 megawatts of wind power, enough to power 86,500 homes. By 2017, we will have doubled our wind capacity with the installation of a new facility near Chaplain and other projects with independent power producers.

Solar power is best suited for small-scale operations and SaskPower does offer programs to encourage this.

SaskPower will continue looking at every option to ensure the future includes reliable, sustainable and affordable power.

Robert Watson
SaskPower president and CEO

And here’s the letter that kicked things off:

Blown opportunity

By James Glennie, The Starphoenix August 26, 2013

I read with interest the article, Geothermal study gets SaskPower funding (SP, Aug. 20) and think it’s admirable that SaskPower is using ratepayer funds to investigate expensive new technologies such as DEEP. One might add to these costs the $1.2-billion, carbon capture scheme at Boundary Dam.

One wonders, however, whether Saskatchewan’s long-suffering ratepayers might be better served by an analysis of technologies that can achieve the same thing at much lower cost. For instance, why is $2 million being spent to investigate a technology that is

hugely expensive and buried three kilometres below the earth, when Saskatchewan has one of the best wind and solar resources in North America? No digging required and no carbon emissions.

Very detailed and highly sophisticated electrical studies have been carried out in numerous jurisdictions worldwide that show wind and solar can reliably and economically provide 25 per cent of total electricity demand on an integrated and modern electricity system. At the same time these clean, renewable technologies have minimal technological risk, enjoy overwhelming public support and can provide massive rural economic stimulus – vital for numerous small towns struggling with lack of jobs and depopulation.

Yet despite this overwhelming body of evidence SaskPower insists that wind and, one presumes, solar will never provide more than five per cent of Saskatchewan’s electricity.

Perhaps DEEP’s $2 million would have been better spent on an independent electrical study which sets out to solve the perplexing riddle of why it is that electrons behave so differently in this corner of the universe?

James Glennie

Saskatoon Community Wind

Renewable Energy Predictions Way Off

They were vastly underestimated.

Here’s info about that out of date solar power study that SaskPower was touting.

Sliverization: Glaciers Melting Quickly

Civilization has a sliver of a chance to survive this century.
Earth’s ice sheets are doomed. That’s it for us.

Lafleche sunset panorama

Watch the trolls roll through saying, “The. earth. has. natural. cycles,” in their robotic programmed voices. Oh really? No shit, sandman. You know what else has natural cycles? Women. Men. Animals. Plants. All of them come to an end when gigatons of pollution are dumped into their environment.

The trolls’ assertion that record levels of air pollution are not a deadly, dangerous, worldwide experiment with human civilization being at stake if it fails, has been totally debunked from decades of scientific research.

Are you going to listen to nameless trolls on the Internet telling you to pipe down and consume as normal, or to countless scientists with graphs based on hard data, and photos of dry lakes, flooded cities, corroding reefs, and melted ice sheets? Who seriously has more credibility here?

Plus, when solutions to the fossil fuel burning mess are presented, these same trolls and astroturf orgs attack the problem solvers.

Coal Hard Truth #skpoli

The Leader-Post may be giving kudos to the Sask Party’s singular focus on Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), but I won’t be. The primary reason CCS (clean coal) is getting so much Conservative and Sask Party government funding, is because it’s a hidden subsidy to the oil industry so that they can recover more oil from otherwise exhausted oil fields.

“We have a great story to tell,” Wall said.

We need more than a fairy tale, or a Sask Party narrative to save us from climate change. We need significant improvements in energy efficiency in our homes and transportation utilization, as well as plenty of increased investment in renewable energy.

On the question of overall provincial support for the environment, the NDP Opposition correctly notes the Sask. Party government cut funding for climate change activities by 73 per cent in the past two years. This is not exactly a great record for Wall when he goes to Pittsburgh or Washington to tout Saskatchewan’s clean energy.

Friends recently told me that PARC at the UofR had been cut significantly, since I last noted on my blog that PARC was a significant admission by the Sask Party that climate change is coming, and will be a huge economic and quality of life game changer. The lack of meaningful investment in renewable energy leaves Saskatchewan behind in the global economic situation emerging.

One year ago, the opposite from the oil industry:

“Our decision was essentially based on the fact that we could not see a way to make the economics of our CCS project work as we originally intended,” said Don Wharton, vice-president of policy and sustainability at TransAlta.

He said markets for pure carbon didn’t develop as expected, and federal and provincial governments took no steps to recognize the value of reduced emissions by implementing a price on carbon, for example, or a cap-and-trade system.

In short, despite nearly $800 million in government subsidies, the company had no incentive to invest in CCS.

The “Clean Coal” lie rolls on. Now it has a new timeline for implementation. Let’s collectively watch it be missed (again).

The government boasted at last week’s Boundary Dam symposium that the project will be up and running this fall and completed by next April, on time and on budget. It will reduce CO2 emissions at the plant by 90 per cent (one million tonnes a year) by shipping emissions 60 kilometres to Weyburn’s enhanced oil recovery project.

From 2009:

“The committee will complete work on the development phase by August 31, 2009, including a full project plan, engineering design, business plan, detailed budget and construction timeline.

With the financial support of the Governments of Canada and the United States, construction of the plant could begin as early as September 2009 and the plant could be operational as early as the summer of 2011. The goal for the reference plant is to test a range of technologies in the capture of up to one million tonnes of CO2 over a four-year period.”