Open thread: Winds of change

The N&O today discusses the trade-offs between aesthetics and clean energy. Seems like a no brainer to me. This picture shows a line of wind turbines in the Copenhagen Harbor. I found the scene beautiful when I visited ... and also inspiring. We should do the same here in North Carolina wherever the presence of sustained winds justifies it.


Tilting at Windmills in all the wrong places?

eems like a no brainer to me. This picture shows a line of wind turbines in the Copenhagen Harbor. I found the scene beautiful when I visited ... and also inspiring. We should do the same here in North Carolina wherever the presence of sustained winds justifies it.*A

About two years ago or so! Wind turbines were to be put off Martha's Vineyard by a green friendly company. At the first zoning meeting with the Martha government. The Kenndy [Teddy leading the way] family sent a host of lawyers to defeat the project claiming it would spoil the view in front of the family vacation home.

Last year, a terrible storm or the perfect storm wacked Martha Vineyard causing a power shortage for two weeks on the Island creating chaos within the homes and the owners along with the tourist business.

When they complain to the State about the delay in restoring the power, it was found that the Green Friendly company owned the underwater power lines to the island and simply said they thought the power source was cut by a unknown deep sea critter with a windmill cutter...Payback is hell is it not?

the saudi arabia of wind

I recall this quote about the Dakotas - with some of the poorest counties in America being the Lakota reservations,but the potential for producing wind energy is huge. Wind turbines are not unattractive, when one considers the alternative(mountain top removal, anyone?)

Anglico, I will travel to Denmark in the fall - I haven't been there in over a decade. In that time, they have become increasingly independent in meeting their energy needs. If a country in which darkness comes at 3:30 pm in winter (and I lived there through a winter) - if THEY can maintain a high standard of living while being energy smart, why can't this country summon the will to do the same?

You are so, so right ....

... if THEY can maintain a high standard of living while being energy smart, why can't this country summon the will to do the same?

Basically, because oil = money = influence. Just ask Exxon-Mobile.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Finally, an energy plan worth posting

I got this from the Perdue campaign today.

Beyond Cliffside: Making North Carolina a National Green Energy Leader - 2/8/2008

The licensing of the Cliffside coal-fired power plant in Rutherford County must represent the end of an era for North Carolina. We should not license another coal-fired power plant to operate in our state.

There may come a day when carbon capture and sequestration technology makes greenhouse gases from coal-fired plants a thing of the past. That day is not today. And until such a day arrives, we should table any discussion about licensing more coal-fired plants here.

But that is not enough. The Cliffside controversy should serve a larger purpose for those of us concerned about our environment, our economy and our energy future. As Governor, I intend to use the Cliffside experience as a fulcrum on which to move North Carolina energy policy in a new direction.

Our state will grow significantly over the next 12 years, adding almost as many people as live in the state of South Carolina. People come to North Carolina for jobs and for our quality of life – for the beauty of the Blue Ridge and the sweeping expanse of our pristine coastline. Businesses come here because our workforce is strong and the cost of doing business is affordable. But a shortsighted energy policy that fails to take major strides forward would put all that we hold dearest in jeopardy.

The Goal: Aiming for 80 by 2050

The respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified the percentage by which scientists have concluded greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced if we are to avoid the worst impacts of global climate change.

I believe North Carolina should embrace those goals, and be a national leader in a movement to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in this country by 80% by the year 2050.

To achieve such meaningful reductions in our greenhouse gases, we must take action on multiple fronts. This includes: 1) making alternative energy use and energy efficiency major components of our public policy; 2) growing one of the nation’s leading green economies; 3) pursuing regional cooperation; and 4) changing the paradigm of public utility power. I know that pursuing such strategies is easier said than done. But as our next Governor, I plan to call upon the people of North Carolina to unite behind an ambitious initiative that will achieve these goals.

The Perdue Plan: Making North Carolina a National Green Energy Leader

License No More Coal-Fired Plants: As I have noted above, the day of the coal-fired plant has come and gone. Until carbon capture and sequestration is perfected (which is still many years away), taking this option off the table will help focus attention on new technologies and strategies to increase efficiency.

Require that 50% of Future Load Growth be Achieved Through Energy Efficiency: As we grow, it is critical that we reduce the output of pollutants and greenhouse gases from power plants. We need to press our utilities to be creative, to invest in efficiency, and to find practical cost-efficient ways to help businesses and consumers use less energy. If we set a 50% efficiency expectation on the front end with our utilities, and manage its implementation properly, we can achieve a fair result that leads to cleaner air, affordable power, and a better quality of life for all in our state.

Fund Local Governments to Become “Cool Cities”: Cities and towns should be encouraged to sign the U.S. Mayors Agreement to become “Cool Cities,” agreeing to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. As I explained in an earlier policy paper (Cools Cities Assistance Initiative), the State should provide $5 million in annual recurring funds to offer competitive grants to cities large and small that develop the best emission reduction plans. Small and mid-sized cities should be eligible for special capacity-building grants to help them devise workable plans.

Explore a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: The challenge of combating global warming requires a comprehensive national solution to reduce carbon emissions. In the absence of a national standard, I will explore, as North Carolina’s next Governor, creating or joining a regional coalition such as the east coast’s 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to trade carbon credits and build a market to fund carbon reduction projects. Through such a coalition, North Carolina could participate in a multi-state cap-and-trade program that covers greenhouse gas emissions.

Make Government Construction a Model for Energy Efficiency: We should continue the progress made in SB 668 last year and expand the sustainability and energy efficiency standards for government buildings. Where appropriate, we should build to the highest level of LEED or equivalent green building standards when constructing or renovating structures like state offices, university dormitories, or public schools.

Expand North Carolina’s Green Fleet: State government should increase state purchases of energy efficient vehicles and reduce its current petroleum use by 20% by the year 2010. To achieve that, I would expand the State’s purchase and use of conventional hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels. As plug-in hybrid vehicles become viable, the State should be an early adopter of the technology as well.

Work Toward Energy Independence:
I would provide expanded incentives to increase the number of alternative fueling stations across the state, especially near our major highways. In addition, I will be committed to achieving the State Biofuels Strategic Plan goal of having 10% of all liquid fuel sold in North Carolina come from biofuels grown and produced here – with an emphasis on the development of second-generation biofuels such as wood chips or switchgrass. North Carolina has the natural assets to be a national leader in the production and distribution of alternative fuels.

Fund University Research on Green Technologies and Alternative Fuels: Environmentally friendly energy sources and conservation measures are more than just socially responsible policy. They are a source of research, innovation and jobs. As Governor, I will ensure our universities receive sustained research funding to develop alternative energy and green technologies such as plug-in hybrid technology, energy capture and storage technology, and cellulosic ethanol production.

Expand the Green Business Fund:
I will expand the state’s Green Business Fund, established last year at my urging, to help the state grow the biofuel, green building and clean technology sectors.

Develop a Green Collar Workforce: Going green can be gold for North Carolina, and I will work to grow our state’s green economy. I will ensure our community colleges and universities establish the programs needed to train technicians and workers in the skills required for a green economy – to do everything from installing solar and hot water systems to retrofitting buildings and power systems for increased energy efficiency. Our Green Business Fund is also available for green workforce development.

Enhance Public Transit In Urban Communities:
Washington may have backed away from its commitment to transit systems in our state’s growing cities, but North Carolina should not. At the state level, we must find innovative ways to promote and encourage public transit and regional rail systems, because increasing ridership is the key to securing the federal funding needed for them to succeed. As North Carolina's next Governor, I will promote and enhance federal initiatives like the commuter check program, which supports public transit ridership. I will support state funding for public transit efforts and additional measures to give local governments more authority to raise the revenue and create the partnerships they need to make environmentally friendly transit options possible in their communities.

Sales Tax Holiday for Green Appliance Purchases: We all know some appliances are energy savers. Others are energy drainers. But many people forget that when they make their purchases. Similar to our Back-to-School holiday, I propose that when consumers purchase ENERGYSTAR and WATER SENSE appliances, they can purchase them free of sales tax. White goods like these cost hundreds of dollars to buy and the sales tax on them is not cheap. That’s a significant incentive to “buy green”, and other regional states such as Florida and Georgia already have it.

Change the Paradigm of Public Utility Power:
To responsibly provide power for the growth North Carolina expects to see, we ultimately need to do two things -- reduce our consumption of energy and reduce the amount we generate from fossil fuels. Doing this will require a new way of thinking about power generation and consumption. We will need to break from conventional wisdom that says meeting the energy demands of growth requires simply building new generation capacity. If we do not, then we get what we pay for – more pollutants and more greenhouse gas emissions.

Our public utilities need to move away from inefficient fossil fuels. As your next Governor, I will push them to:

Make investments in a smart 21st Century power grid that maximizes the efficiency of power delivery – delivering more power for less.

Utilize sophisticated meters that monitor and adjust energy consumption to achieve efficiency without compromising service.

Make investments in new solar infrastructure to upfit consumer homes. This type of commitment would signal real support for efficiency and would help enable utilities to avoid building new generation.

I'm in love...

Make investments in new solar infrastructure to upfit consumer homes. This type of commitment would signal real support for efficiency and would help enable utilities to avoid building new generation.

Is Bev married? Happily? Does she need a..."seasoned" pool boy?

Every poll that's come out in the last three days

is either Obama or McCain. Of course that's with a focus on the Feb. 12th primaries and national polls.
The nice thing is that they also show Obama up on McCain by about 6 points.

Just an aside - What happened to McAbel? And why aren't more people asking that question? (heh, heh)

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?