Sunday, April 25, 2010

Power Companies supporting Green Energy?

It is hard to believe that some large power companies are serious about supporting green power if we observe their responses to an opportunity. Consider the following example;
Some sustainable green planning is taking place in New York State based Villages and Towns. This includes installing solar panels of 40KW to 80 KW size funded by stimulus grants. These installation may make more power than their consumption. This means that power demand will be reduced so the Utility can sell the saved power to serve future growth. The NYS Public service commission also regulates the Power company and requiring them to produce green power. Under these condition you would expect them to encourage more of such projects and compensate the community at the same rate as they charge them for power. Unfortunately the reality is different and I hope that our Political leaders will resolve this attitude in near future.

I was shocked to learn that when a Village requested the power company to pay them the same price for green generated power, they said that the current Terrif in their agreement does not require this and Village is legally only entitled to get 3 cents per KWH while the Village pays over 12 cents/KWH to buy power from them.
This does not sound Fair, but legally the Utility does not have to pay any more for the distributed green power. Where is the social consciousness at the top management level of the Power company which has profits as the Mantra for taking any decisions? Time will tell if they really want to support Green power generation. Their Actions will convey the truth.

As tax payers, we need to convey to the politicians and power company officials to use common sense so our small communities are rewarded and not discouraged to take sustainable green path to control costs and local taxes.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Thought for Sustainability

It is 40th anniversary of the Earth Day today. What can we say about the prospects of next ten years? My confidence in human intelligence and innovation tells me that a better world awaits and April 22, 2020 will be great.

Imagine what is possible as described below.

Net zero homes becoming common and not a novelty. Fuel cells providing electricity, hot water and HVAC to new homes built with max. day light and fitted with LED bulbs and green roof.

City streets lit by LED lamps, smart grid allowing remote management of large buildings to conserve energy. Solar and Wind power technology producing power at the point of consumption and at a price below regular power costs.

New communities developed with easy access to high speed public transport and walkable neighborhoods connected to community facilities. Rechargeable electric bikes and communities that do not need dependence on cars.

Local farmers producing the organic produce for local consumption and using compost made from food waste generated in the communities.

Rainwater treated as a resource and recycled at each home and business. Pervious pavements and parking lots so the flooding is prevented and communities require less water per capita.

Living with nature will bring prosperity to us all as free sunshine, free rain, free land for geothermal system is used smartly and eating natural foods makes us healthy.

What we need is the will to take green initiatives and continue on the path of sustainable community planning. It has started and better days are ahead.

Our 50th Earth Day will be a great celebration.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Green is Gold- a Sustainability Mantra

As the temperature hit 86 degrees at Rochester NY on April 3,2010, the local weather station reminded us that we are beating the warmest spring record in last 40 years. At the same times Rhode Island is under water with largest rainfall event in their recent history. What is going on?
I am sure some Radio commentators will say- it has nothing to do with climate change or Global warming in Monday's broadcast. We are motivated by either Fear or Greed. So if taking corrective action will help us all, the better approach may be to talk positive.
I am now focusing on the benefits of Green initiatives and point out that Green is Gold. This is true for many communities that are taking action to reduce energy and water consumption and promote recycling of materials. It is also true for many industrial plants that want to reduce their energy and operating costs and have access to money for growth and making other improvements. Local Governments and Industrial development authorities need to convey this mantra to their customers so they can also take the steps to Go Green because Green is Gold!
Ram Shrivastava