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December 14, 2008 07:37 AM UTC

Presidential Transition Team - major energy briefing

  • by: DavidThi808

Representative Thielen and high-level members of a diverse coalition to participate in wave energy briefing with Presidential Transition Team in Washington DC.

Honolulu – “I am excited and honored to participate in a briefing with President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team in Washington DC.  This briefing can result in federal support for wave energy systems in our state, which will help Hawaii’s economy and our goal to reduce use of fossil fuel,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Cynthia Thielen.  “There are a couple of real advantages that make this opportunity so exciting for Hawaii.  First, the coalition of stakeholders that will meet with the Transition Team – environmentalists, academics, energy developers, investors, and utilities – are not often on the same boat, but they are together on the issue of wave energy.  Second, the University of Hawaii is one of only two National Marine Renewable Test Centers in the nation, and they will be funded for the next five years to study and implement wave energy systems. ”

A sampling of the coalition members includes the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Heritage Institute, Portland General Electric, the National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hydropower Reform Coalition, the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pacific Energy Ventures LLC, the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, and the Surfrider Foundation.

The coalition has adopted Principles to guide ocean renewable energy development.  Among the Principles are increased government action to encourage pilot projects.  “Hawaii, with its excellent wave climate, is a natural choice for such pilot projects,” noted Rep. Thielen.

The meeting is scheduled for December 16th, 2008 and will also include transition teams from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, and the Council on Environmental Quality.


18 thoughts on “Presidential Transition Team – major energy briefing

    1. Between her schedule, ours, and the fact that this happened last minute – it’s fly straight out there and back.

      But knowing my mom, by the time she’s doen talking to them, we’ll be using wave energy generators here in Colorado.

      I’ll try to get her to post the results here.

    2. Obama’s “greenies” have done more to hurt the U.S. auto industry than the UAW, and they’re going to make sure that our depressed economy will stay depressed as long as possible.

      Anything to reduce carbon emissions, ya know.

  1. With every renewable energy resource there is one constant: the need for fossil fuels.  The reason for this is simple, we don’t control nature, and thus, don’t control when power is being produced.  The nameplate generation capacity for any resource may seem high, but the importance is when you can use that energy and when you need it.  Renewable Energy is simply not reliable, especially at Peak times, you can’t tell God at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, when everyone comes home from work (turns on their TV, Computer, air conditioning etc.) to turn on the tides.

    1. DIVERSITY is needed with a renewable energy strategy.

      Wind power from a single wind farm is not always going to be there.  But wind power from wind farms across the Rocky Mountain region will average out to a relatively fixed amount.  Also, wind above a certain height is reasonably constant; “tidal power” is usually derived from reasonably deep water wave action that is also pretty constant.  Solar is obviously more variable, but even on cloudy days solar panels and concentrators can produce some energy.

      The same thing happens with fossil fuels and nuclear power; plants are taken offline for maintenance or emergency, and other plants pick up the slack during the downtime.

      We do not need to rely on fossil fuels just because Mother Nature is a bit variable – but we can’t centralize in some mega wind farm and expect it alone to solve our problems.

      1. So you are saying that taking a Nuclear or Fossil Fuels plant offline is the same as the ‘sun not shinning? or the wind ‘not blowing?’ When you can’t turn on your lights, we’ll discuss whether or not ‘mother nature’ is reliable…  

        ps What you mean by ‘CENTRALIZE’ is transmission lines, but do you want more transmission lines?  

        1. So how high should we build Wind Farms?  Are they supposed to be a 2 miles high? 3 miles high?

          PR you provided no actual evidence that I was wrong, please produce your evidence and make it in kw/h please.

          1. So I can’t provide you with a kw/h answer.

            I can provide you with reliability numbers, average load numbers, current plant size numbers…  None of those answer your point about reliability.  As only 1% of U.S. power is currently produced by wind, I can’t provide you with a useful reliability number for this country.  In the Netherlands, 20% of their power is generated by wind, with a minimal backup system; our grids cover far larger areas, which would result in corresponding increases in reliability and decreases in required backup power.

        2. When the wind doesn’t blow, it’s not like the entire Earth has calm weather.  In fact, it’s not even usually statewide.  The wind farm outside of Lamar may be unavailable, but the wind farm up by Pawnee Buttes will likely still be functioning.  In this respect, yes, it’s very much like a coal plant going offline, and much less disruptive than a nuclear plant coming down for maintenance.

          For specifics…  A Minnesota study indicates that they can fill up to 25% of their electrical capacity with wind power before requiring any “back-up” capacity.  Colorado probably has a slightly tolerance – perhaps 35% – because our winds are more reliable.  In fact, this is better than nuclear power; because nuclear plants are such a single-source, on-off construction, utilities have to over-budget their capacity by the size of their largest nuclear plant.

          Diversification in renewable fuels isn’t limited to wind and solar, BTW.  Biomass and waste gas power (e.g. from the power plant in Colorado run by methane from cow manure…), are capable of filling fast-reaction peak capacity requirements, while geothermal and hydroelectric plants provide more stable energy sources.  Considering the rapid development of these types of power, I have no doubt we will be able to fill even more gaps in our future power infrastructure soon.

          As to transmission lines… A modest increase in transmission lines is probably called for already, considering the seemingly fragile nature of our electrical network.  And a transition from coal and natural gas plants to wind, solar, geothermal, and other plants will result in a change in our electrical grid but not necessarily much of an increase in lines.  We don’t park all of our coal plants in the same location any more than we do our wind farms.

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