Thursday, August 11, 2011

Truth About the EPA, Wind Turbines Break, and Solar Subsidies

Innovation magazine is a bimonthly ( paid for by DOE and produced by Technology Ventures Corp. Given the source of the money, every issue has a certain amount of full blown policy flackery all in a full color package.
The June-July issue, which I only looked at today, has an interview with Heather Zichal, President Obama's "deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change." Zichal "explained the administration's energy strategy.” What I wonder about such articles and a solar piece in the same issue is, Do people really read this stuff? And still do nothing?
The solar article said solar was getting competitive with conventional energy sources. And why, you wonder, “...government incentive and rebate programs.”
Piety about technology transfer occupied pages and pages. But two little words explained much of the problem with tech transfer, “lab culture.”
Finally a news flash. Wind turbines break. “…although modern wind turbines have a design lifespan of 20 years, they typically fail two to three times per year during the first ten years and average four unplanned maintenance incidents annually.” The wind turbine industry doesn’t know why their turbines break.
Here is what Zichal said about the EPA & utilities:
"Zichal said the Obama administration plans to push back hard at Republican attempts in Congress to scuttle an Environmental Protection Administration effort to set new standards for utilities and other major industrial polluters. The EPA dispute has been brewing since 2007, when the Supreme Court agreed that greenhouse gases could harm human health and well-being. As part of its ruling, the court found that greenhouse gas emissions—including carbon dioxide—are within the Clean Air Act’s definition of air pollutants. Late last year, the agency issued a finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public’s health and welfare and announced plans to set new standards for utilities and other large industrial polluters.
"Then, in December 2010, the agency announced plans to set new greeenhouse gas emissions standards for utilities and petroleum refineries. In January, the new greenhouse gas permitting requirements kicked in for large emitters that are already obtaining permits from the EPA for other pollutants. New and existing facilities making major modifications would be required to include greenhouse gases in their permit requests if they increase greenhouse gas emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year. The permits must demonstrate the use of “best available control technologies” to minimize emissions if the facility is expanded."

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