Sunday, December 25, 2011

Optimism for Christmas - A grand Gift

Most of the energy issues that face our world are repairable in proper steps. All it takes is optimism and intelligence. I have been worried for some time because the pessimists have been in charge.

There is a fine line between optimism and pessimism, which is called realism. Nothing good results from too much of any of them, even realism. Even a realist needs a little craziness from time to time.

Municipal scale cooperative utilities are my crazy vision of the future. Combining power generation, waste disposal, water treatment and production in efficient co-generation to get the maximum benefit for the community for the buck.

No more NIMBY mentality. Deal with your own shit on your own turf. The technology is available now to start on that path. There are lots of great ideas that have waited for their time. Which ones will win depends on the needs and desires of the community.

So I will be digging through some of the better ones I have and add a few of my own not that it looks like the rough patch is getting shorter.

Happy Holidays and a prosperous future.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Just Happened? Is Hydrogen Back in the Picture?

The EPA made a politically timed announcement that the Maximum Achievable Clean Technology (MACT) is now in force in the the United States. Under the guise of getting Mercury pollution from nasty coal fired power plants finally under control, the MACT will have impact on about 10 percent of the older coal power plants with 12 percent of the currently operating power plants already meeting the MACT tighter standards. While the Greens strut around proclaiming victory over nasty coal, the MACT seems to endorse clean coal technology, or cleaner coal technology if you prefer.

As usual, the industries that will bear the brunt of the regulation will not be the target mentioned in the media hype. Forestry and pulp products, smaller scale industrial power generation and institutional (university and military) power and thermal plants will have to get out of the power business.

Pulp mills have worked hard the past 20 years to bring emissions under control to meet the demands of encroaching residential property owners that build homes near pulp plants. Hey, the land was cheap for a reason guys.

It is all good, other than the suburban sprawl started the ball rolling. Cleaner emissions generally mean more efficient energy use.

Integrated Gasification combined cycle power generation, the cleaner coal technology, meets the EPA regulations which opens the door to a variety of mixed fuel and synergistic industrial applications. Only problem is, will the small guys feel the boot of big government and be driven out of the picture?

I haven't posted on this blog in quite some time because nothing has happened. MACT may be a big something. With some reasonable assurance that the rules are not going to change for the 50 years or so required to invest in new coal and unconventional fuel technology, the EPA may have unleashed the innovative potential of American entrepreneurs. The tide may have turned!