Archive for October, 2005

Digester open house near Weyauwega, November 10

Posted on October 31, 2005. Filed under: Digesters |

Quantum Dairy hosts an Environmental Technologies open house on Thursday, November 10, 2005, from 2-7 pm.

The open house features an anaerobic manure digester on the 1,400 cow farm.

Get all the details at:
Quantum Dairy open house.

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RENEW Supports Ethanol; Praises Wind Developer

Posted on October 28, 2005. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol, Wind |

RENEW Wisconsin recently issued two press releases. One expresses support for increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline:

“RENEW strongly supports the development and use of bioenergy sources for lessening the state’s dependence on imported petroleum, natural gas, and coal,” RENEW Executive Director Vickerman said.

The other praises the developer of the Forward Wind project:

Invenergy, LLC, developer of the 200 megawatt (MW) Forward Wind Project in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties, unveiled an innovative plan to pay landowners a set annual fee if they live within one-third of a mile from one or more turbines.

“This will be the most high profile wind development in Wisconsin when completed next year. Invenergy’s decision sets the standard for other Wisconsin wind developers,” according to Vickerman.

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Many small steps lead to alternative energy sources

Posted on October 26, 2005. Filed under: Energy Policy |

The La Crosse Tribune editorialized in the October 25 edition:

What’s the best way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels?

Should the government encourage development of hydrogen-fueled cars? Do we need more alternative electrical power sources — including wind power?

How about ethanol? Should we be building ethanol plants and encouraging its use as a supplement to motor fuel?

The answer is a no-brainer. We should be doing all of these things.


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Energy Security & Emergency Preparedness

Posted on October 26, 2005. Filed under: Energy Policy |

How Clean Energy Can Deliver More Reliable Power for Critical Infrastructure and Emergency Response Missions

The effectiveness of critical facilities and their ability to carry out their mission during an emergency is dependent on the reliability of their secondary or backup power systems. Today many of our most important critical facilities feature some of the latest 21st century equipment, but rely on 19th century backup technology—namely diesel generators— with limited staying power and average power quality.

This is a problem that could be prevented in the future….

Solar photovoltaic (PV) or fuel cells can operate independent from the grid and can continue to provide electricity when the grid goes down. While these installations will not solve all future emergency power problems—massive flooding can overwhelm equipment no matter how it is powered—these additional measures could make a life-saving difference.

Read the full report from the Clean Energy States Alliance.

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Gas Taxes: Lesser Evil, Greater Good

Posted on October 25, 2005. Filed under: Peak Oil & the End of Cheap Fossil Fuel |

A New York Times editorial from October 24:

There’s no serious disagreement that two major crises of our time are terrorism and global warming. And there’s no disputing that America’s oil consumption fosters both….

Now, however, the energy risks so apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have created both the urgency and the political opportunity for the nation’s leaders to respond appropriately….

The best solution is to increase the federal gasoline tax, in order to keep the price of gas near its post-Katrina highs of $3-plus a gallon.

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Another look at fuel choices: Rising prices pique lawmakers’ interest

Posted on October 24, 2005. Filed under: General |

Tom Content presented a clear overview on renewables in a story in the Journal Sentinel on October 22:

Soaring natural gas prices are bringing new attention to renewable energy and conservation, just as lawmakers are preparing bills to beef up the state’s commitment to renewable energy.

Wisconsin lags other states in the amount of renewable energy it taps to power the state’s homes and businesses, with renewables accounting for just 4% of the electricity supplied in the state.

And utility and state spending on energy conservation programs fell throughout the 1990s, then rose slightly several years ago before state budget deficits prompted even more cuts.

As high natural gas prices revive interest in fuel sources such as wind and solar energy, conservation is getting a second look as well.

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Groups Sue Wisconsin Public Service

Posted on October 21, 2005. Filed under: Clean Air |

GREEN BAY, WI – Today, Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS) for ongoing permit violations at its Pulliam coal-fired power plant. WPS’ own records submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show that they have been violating the Clean Air Act an average of two or more times a day for years. WPS officials admitted to reporters in July that the company has been violating the law.

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County Farmers Take Interest In Crop You Can’t Eat — Or See

Posted on October 21, 2005. Filed under: Uncategorized |

From the Capital Times of Wednesday, October 19, 2005:

Some area dairy farmers are looking into a crop that, while abundant in Dane County, is not commonly harvested here.

Mary and Stan Hellenbrand and Thomas and Marlene Helt are looking to build a small crop of wind turbines on their properties off Kickaboo Road near U.S. 12.

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Oil from Tar Sands Will Deplete Natural Gas and Water Supplies, Accelerate Global Warming

Posted on October 19, 2005. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Jeff Riggert, who holds an M.S. Land Resources with Certificate in Energy Analysis & Policy, circulated the following article via e-mail and it’s worth posting to a broader audience:

Tar sand, also referred to as oil sand or bituminous sand, is a combination of clay, sand, water and bitumen. Tar sands are mined for the oil-rich bitumen which is refined into oil. Conventional oil is extracted by drilling traditional wells into the ground whereas tar sand deposits are (to date) mined using strip mining techniques.


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An Open Letter to Ethanol Factories

Posted on October 17, 2005. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

John Frantz, a physican and renewable energy advocate from Monroe, Wisconsin, offers his thoughts on ethanol:

The manufacture of ethanol for fuel from corn is wasteful of energy because the energy required to plant and harvest the corn, plus the energy to ferment and distill it, approximates the energy in the product ethanol. All green plants produce sugar (almost always glucose) by photosynthesis in the leaves. This is transported to their seeds and the inner layer of bark (cambium layer) where it is converted (polymerized) to starch for storage. This is why peas are at their best when freshly picked before the new sugar arriving from the leaves has been converted into starch. Starch is easily converted back to sugar for use by the embryo plant or in the mother plant for its own new growth especially in the spring.


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