Bob Quinn, Editor
Letter to the Editor
In response to “Clean Energy” by Larry Dysinger in the Warwick Advertiser
It is unfortunate that Mr. Dysinger’s solar panels are not performing as promised. Mine were underperforming for a while but it had nothing to do with the sun. A check revealed a part that needed to be replaced. In any case, making assumptions about solar panels based on one installation is hardly fair. I am wondering what other people in the neighborhood have experienced?
Solar farms provide a steady source of income for farmers who use the same ground for grazing cattle. There have been many experiments done lately with plantings for pollinators under the panels. Of course the best case scenario is to have local zoning laws that encourage solar panels on non productive land. Better still is their installation in parking lots, schools, super markets and the like.
While renewables like wind and solar are intermittent, they are also highly predictable. The NY Independent Service Operator, the agency that controls our grid, has already integrated wind power into our system. In Germany wind power is sold into the day ahead market with no problem.
“Using clean energy to produce the majority of our electricity is a great goal.” However, this is not enough if we are to avoid ever increasing wild fires, droughts and fierce storms. All of these are the results of increased carbon in the atmosphere which our children and grandchildren will have to live with. The best we can do now is to try to limit even more severe effects.
The quantifying that is needed for producing electricity from various sources has been done. It includes the cost per megawatt, the fuel cycle, the cost of disposal and more. This has all been laid out and is freely available in public documents. Nuclear is the exception when it comes to figuring out disposal costs because there is no national plan and the waste is lethal for 240,000 years.
What we need is the cheapest and fastest way to produce the maximum amount of megawatts. In any cost analysis that turns out to be renewables coupled with an aggressive demand response program, conservation and efficiency. The best power plant is the one that does not have to be built.
Every new proposal for more nuclear reactors is a step away from faster and cheaper.
Every new gas pipeline that is put in is a death trap for the future.
The smaller nuclear reactors mentioned in Mr. Dysinger’s letter have not been built. They are still on the drawing board. One company, NuScale has an application in to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC recently sent their application back because it needed more work. Not a good first step in a process that takes years.
In our system the owners of generating units decide when to close them. It is not a uniform and orderly process. It is the free market at work. Phasing out gas in an orderly, thoughtful “evolutionary” process is not what the market does. Nor do we have the time to wait to let everything sort itself out.
We are in a crisis that demands a revolutionary response if the planet as we know it is to survive.
Indian Point Safe Energy Project
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