Juneau’s jolt

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Also from the print press today is William Yardley's "Juneau Journal" in the Times, which details the crisis actions the Alaskan capital has taken to lower its electrical consumption.

The crisis was brought on not by global climate change but by a different natural devastator: An avalanche felled some utility towers that carried hydroelectric power to the city. That power cost 11 cents per kilowatt hour, while the diesel-fired power that replaced it costs 53 cents.

NStar green

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People want to know: Is NStar's announcement yesterday that, beginning in July, customers willing to pay an extra fee will be able to get half or all their electricity from wind generators a big deal, or just a bunch of hot air?

The answer is, neither. It doesn't give Massachusetts utility customers any greater ability to support the development of wind power than they already had, but it may accelerate the trend, regardless.

Missouri town rides the wind

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With its four wind turbines, Rock Port, Mo., is the first town in America to get all its electricity from wind, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune, via EcoGeek.com. The turbines can generate a max of 5 megawatts daily, which the post says would be more than twice what the town of 1,300 needs. It's worth noting, however, if you go there: There's lots of skepticism in the comments.

Power day at MIT

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My friend and former colleague Dave Beard spent his Saturday at the MIT Energy Conference and came up with a trio of posts I would have been proud to write myself: The keynote speaker was Jim Rogers of Duke Energy, the 12th largest CO2 emitter in the world. He told the crowd that he knows they have to produce less, which is startling to hear from such an impressive coal burner as himself.

“… Feelin’ so holy …”

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It's a snippet from the Tom Waits song, "Ol' 55," and for the second time inside a year, it comes to mind to as a means to express. Yesterday, I finally did something. For way too long, I thought about acting in defense of the planet, and perhaps would engage people in conversation about it — and even then, "hectoring" them would too often have been a better description — but my actions lagged far behind.

Coal, the "alternative fuel"

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I cannot imagine a single person outside the coal industry who is enthusiastic about coal. Never mind enthusiastic — I cannot imagine any thinking person with a direct financial interest having any toleration for doing anything whatsoever with coal other than leaving it in the ground, undisturbed, forever.

I know that the president refers to our country as the Saudi Arabia of coal, but a) he's completely co-opted on any traditional-energy topic, and b) he's ... well, I'll just leave it at a).

It’s the Sox, it must be news!

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A disclosure at this morning's solar energy session after I filed a previous post from there was that the Red Sox are about to start construction on a solar hot-water project.

According to Christina Halfpenny of National Grid, the team will be able to meet 37 percent of its water-heating load in a system that will take 16 years to pay for itself, after incentives.


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