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Utilities must lead way to clean-energy model
Posted on Sunday, July 27, 2008 @ 23:08:26 GMT by vlad

General |Daniel M. Kammen is founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

When we hear criticisms of the Long Island Power Authority's experimental energy projects, we need to keep in mind that utilities have a critical role to play in making the transition to a clean-energy economy, which is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

LIPA has spent $54 million in research and development since 1998, according to consumer watchdogs cited in Newsday, including ventures in fuel cells, windmills and solar power. Legitimate questions are being raised about accountability and oversight. But commitments to innovation always carry a certain amount of risk-taking, and there's no doubt of LIPA's need to be involved in R&D. In fact, a good case can be made that even a higher investment level was warranted - some of which is inherently risky.

Frustration with federal inaction in this field has generated a wave of energy innovations at the city and state level, including financial help for developing or deploying solar energy, wind power, and the capture of energy from landfills, as well as incentives to promote efficiency in homes and businesses. Utilities are vital players in this process, since they interface directly both with energy production systems (some of which they own), and with consumers.

Utilities are uniquely positioned to champion low-carbon energy supply and demand management options while putting into effect energy-efficiency and demand-management strategies to save ratepayers money and lower carbon emissions right away....

Full article: http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/



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"Utilities must lead way to clean-energy model" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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Re: Utilities must lead way to clean-energy model (Score: 1)
by ElectroDynaCat on Monday, July 28, 2008 @ 13:03:53 GMT
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If there is one area in which the nations' energy problems could have been avoided, it is in infrastructure. Not only in public utilities but in private development.

For example, had every house in the U.S. been built to a "superinsulated" standard since 1980, demand for heating fuel would be a small fraction of what it is now.

If the airline industry hadn't been handed  100 billion dollar a year subsidies and that money dedicated to fast rail and mass transit, we would not be sitting in traffic jams, burning more gas and facing a liquid fuel shortage.

If underground electric distribution and intelligent power factor control had been forced by development codes, we would not have the peaking problems we have today.

Our problems stem from politics, taking the cheap, quick and easy way out and saying to hell with the consequences down the road.

There is no energy shortage, there was a shortage of vision in leadership. The results are here to see today.


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