ADAMSON: Renewable Energy: Hopeful Prospects, Exciting Inve

ADAMSON: Renewable Energy: Hopeful Prospects, Exciting Inve

Postby Oscar » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:19 pm

Renewable Energy: Hopefull Prospects, Exciting Inventions
by Dr. Bill Adamson, Saskatoon.
April 4, 2009

Interest in renewable energy is growing by leaps and bounds. A revolution in our thinking and acting is underway in the generating of electricity.

Wind Power

Wind power is free, leaves no wastes behind, and in plentiful supply in Saskatchewan!

The secret of Germany’s success, in adapting to windpower, was its government policy which allowed “net metering,” so that local entreprenuers could create their own electricity, and sell any surplus to the main grid.

They also had guaranteed prices, plus incentives and bonuses which helped pay off capital costs.

Now, finally, Saskatchewan has also introduced “net metering.”

Germany has developed a windpower capacity for generating 22,000 megawatts of power (more than all our nuclear reactors) and plans to add another 20,000 megawatts with offshore turbines this year.

Now, windfarms are springing up in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Massachussetts, California, Spain, Portugal, and Saskatchewan—having the least capacity at 172 megawatts.

Thinking of windpower, most of us recall the pictures of huge towers with their long 42 metre blades—the kind installed by large corporations.

Fortunately, many new and smaller models are being invented and put on the market.

For instance, there are small, cylindrical or “vertical axis” wind turbines in contrast to the propeller models. These may be from 8 to 12 feet high and can be installed on rooftops or small towers. Pictures of at least 10 different models are current. These would be suitable for farmers, ranchers, lumber workers, and fishery people. They would help decentralize our systems with dispersed generators in many local communities.

These new systems will create jobs, avoid carbon emissions and radioactive wastes, and create new sources of income.

Many jobs will arise from the manufacture, distribution, installation, and services of these numerous units.

Germany now employs 250,000 workers in wind energy, and created 8000 new jobs in 2007 alone. Its windpower generates $240 billion in annual revenues.

The USA has 194,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect jobs from renewables.

Moreover, new computerized switching devices can call on combinations of wind, solar, and hydro to suit any kind of weather or circumstances.

In addition, under the Sask. Government’s amendment to the Net Metering Program, with the SaskPower Eneraction Program, persons who install wind or solar systems can now receive a rebate of 35% of their costs up to $35,000 retroactive to April 1, 2007.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is also gaining prominence.

The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to our global consumption of energy for a year!

In Japan, Germany and the USA, there are solar panels on 400,000 rooftops, and additional ones in Denmark, Spain, Italy and Greece.

An additional 10 solar plants are being planned for California, Arizona, and Nevada. The PG&E company in California has recently contracted to buy 3,600 megawatts of solar energy.

The hindering problem for solar to this point has been the cost of the silicon panels.

Now, new kinds of aluminum or cadmium-teluride sheets, the thickness of newspaper, are being used to create electricity from the rays of the sun. Also, mirrors or solar collectors are being used to heat water for steam turbines.

More and more people around the world are installing solar panels.

Have you noticed that Canadian Tire has various types of solar panels for sale? Also, there are local distributors in Saskatchewan.

Geo-Thermal

Everyone in Saskatchewan should visit the Sustainable Living Project at Craik, Saskatchewan to see for themselves the simplicity of a geo-thermal system. It is surprising how liquid-filled pipes, buried in the earth, can provide warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer! And no hotspring near molten lava is needed!

The Sask. Government has established a new financing program to assist its citizens to install renewable energy system.

Persons may receive a loan for up to $25,000 for installing approved geo-thermal systems.

In the western states of the USA there has suddenly appeared some 96 such geo-thermal projects.

Summary:

Perhaps you have heard that old song—“The Times They Are A’Changin”

Dr. Bill Adamson, Saskatoon
adamson.bl@shaw.ca // 306-374-1417

PS. Persons with computers may wish to check these websites:

cturner@globeandmail.com –Aug.3, 2008, p.F7
www.thestar.com/article/555638
www.aerotecture.com
www.chicagoaudobon.org/pages/20-06_02.shtml
www.ecogeek.org?content/view/2118
www.smallwindenergy.com
www.craikecovillage.ca
Oscar
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