Do You Want Energy Independence or Our Democracy to Return To Us?

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Dear Readers,

I am a mathematician, so numbers are very important to me….11/11/11 contains such a unique combination that I should not let the day pass without posting something significant and meaningful, on this day.

I desperately want and need to share these words of Hermann Scheer, member of the German Parliament who was responsible for implementing the German Renewable Energy Act (equivalent of effective Feed-In-Tariff) and also known as the Hero of the Green Century, spoken before his passing. From his life experience with politics, he sees the necessity in the shift into distributed renewable (particularly solar) energy in order to keep human society’s democratic human values. It is an Ethical Must! He warned and compared our current status of energy dependency to that of feudal regime. America is not independent and neither is European democratic system. Self-determination would vanish if the life fluid of all activities would have to come from another. He also wrote, “a solar based economy would overcome global economic disparaty” (two of his books:Energy Autonomy: The Economic, Social and Technological Case for Renewable Energy, The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future).  Finally, in his words of hope and encouragement, do not wait for others but mobilize for our own renewable energy change/shift.  “Only then, movement comes…”  I would like to invite you to finish viewing this series of three videos of interview with Hermann Scheer below,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awqzMmWsCow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdek8ilEOec

followed by my article on Why and How We Should Power Planet Earth With Sun-Water-Wind Quickly, below:

Why and How We Should Power Planet Earth With Sun-Water-Wind Quickly(written and published by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, parts also published at http://sunisthefuture.net)

It is an exciting time to be alive. We earthlings may have many problems to deal with, but we are also equipped with many tools, terrific minds, and fantastic ways of communications. My thirst for solutions for earth’s energy problem combined with my online teaching jobs permitted me to travel to various places from time to time to search for answer…to seek lessons learned and wisdom gathered….Yes, I’ve attended many lectures by many scholars who have studied the energy issue. Today, I want to share with you a talk by Mark Z. Jacobson, Director of the Atmosphere/EnergyProgram and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, available at http://sunisthefuture.net, July 31, 2011 post. Professor Jacobson started the talk by explaining what the problem we earthlings are facing today and why is there such an urgency in needing to deal with it quickly:

• temperatures are rising quickly

• Arctic sea ice area is decreasing quickly

• air pollution mortality is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and highertemperature contributes to deaths

• higher population and growing energy demand will lead to worsening air pollution andclimate problems over time

This part of the talk helped me to realize that black carbon (main component of the soot particles) is also a very important factor for causing global warming, in addition to CO2 emission. Annual premature earthlings’ deaths due to particulates is about 2.5-3 million (in U.S. that is translated into 50,000-100,000 and in Europe, 300,000-350,000 annual premature deaths due to air pollution).As any good engineer/scholar would approach a problem, Professor Jacobson did not just alarm uswith problems but also evaluated possible solutions both with and without cost considerations. From reviewing and ranking major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security, his talk also considered various impacts of the proposed solutions such as water supply, land use, resource availability, reliability, wildlife, and risk of cancer and nuclear proliferation. Some data I was not aware of in the past was presented, such as the dramatic increase of organic gases (formaldehyde, 200% and acetaldehyde, 4500%) and increased ozone generated from using ethanol. In the final analysis, with consideration of materials, transmission infrastructure, costs,and politics, Professor Jacobson concludes that the best way to power the world is with Wind,Water, and Solar (WWS) technologies.By 2030, the cost of using fossil fuel (13.5c/kWh) will be higher than using WWS (8-13 c/kWh)technologies. Using WWS technologies will also eliminate 2.5-3 million air pollution prematuredeaths/year and global warming and provides energy stability. Furthermore, converting to WWSand electricity/H2 will reduce global power demand by 30%. The greatest concern regarding use of WWS is its variability;this is also addressed by Jacobson’s study by: ( 1.) interconnecting geographically-dispersed WWS;(2.) bundling WWS and using hydro to fill in gaps;(3.) demand response(provide incentive to discourage use during peak/high demand period);(4.) oversizing peak capacity and producing hydrogen with excess for industry, vehicles;(5.)on-site storage;(6.)better forecasting.The study concludes that the best way to power planet earth in the future is with Wind, Water, and Solar(WWS) technologies. It is feasible both technically and economically. Its potential barriers are upfrontcosts, transmission needs, lobbying, and politics.

Relevant papers can be found at http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/susenergy2030.html.

Dear Readers, this is exactly why I have written the series on effective Feed-In-Tariff, in Sun Is TheFuture, available at http://sunisthefuture.net trying to urge all of our local and federal governments(not just the Floridians or residents of USA, but residents of planet earth) to give all of us the incentive to participate in our move toward the Renewable WWS age. We, as individual home or business owners, may not be spending multiple millions of dollars for lobbying, but we are just as concerned with the future of energy use and welfare of our planet earth as any large utility companies. We earthlings are all connected. The particulate matters from China or India or radiation material fromFukushima will impact all of us earthlings. So, as individual earthlings, let’s start by calling attentionand action for our immediate communities. I, here in Florida, will try my very best in asking my community and local government to consider effective Feed-In-Tariff (discussions, articles, and videoclips available by going to the search box at upper right hand corner of http://sunisthefuture.net and type in “feed in tariff”). Effective Feed-In-Tariff, now rebranded as CLEAN program, may be utilizedby individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s, hospitals, libraries,local McDonald’s, WalMart, police stations, and large power/utility companies/plant (refer to the pieceI wrote on July 13, 2011, Answer For The Future Is In Hybrid Marriage-Solar And Fossil Fuel at http://sunisthefuture.net) alike. We need incentive for individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s,hospitals, etc. with rooftops and surface areas, that would provide us with sufficient economic incentiveto move into the renewable age. Here is an example (in the video of July 27 post at http://sunisthefuture.net, with data provided by World Future Council) of another country,Germany, with far less sunshine and insolation than we have here in Florida, but with the help of Feed-In-Tariff (key features listed below):

• Gives RE (renewable energy) priority access to the grid

• Obliges grid operators to purchase electricity from RES

• Sets the price for RE electricity for fixed periods

• Sets no limit to amount of RE feeding into the grid

Fundamentally, with an effective Feed-In-Tariff incentive program, any one who produces excess renewable energy may be able to sell the power he/she generates back to the power/utility company.Feed-In-Tariffs have been so successful in Germany and many other countries because of the long termplanning security it provides by having 12-20 year contracts ( this is crucial to investors);it givestechnology-specific incentives (this is crucial for driving new technologies into the market);it adapts totechnological development (this fosters innovation). Germany was able to create more than a quarter million jobs in renewable energy sector in less than five years, economic impact of new industrydevelopment with total turnover from renewable energy sources of approximately 25 billion Euros in2007, and saved about 150 tons of CO2 emissions…all due to the help of Feed-In-Tariff. Most importantly, Feed-In-Tariff have made Germany the world leader in solar power. Another important lesson to take away from the presentation of  World Future Council video clip of July 27 post in  sunisthefuture.net is the fact that majority (more than 80% in Germany & or 90% in Florida) of the market share is from residential rather than the utility scaled facility (about 10%). That means, we, the individuals, will have far more combined impact on the industry and would benefit from the industry of renewable energy via Feed-In-Tariff. Please do view these discussions and video clips on Feed-In-Tariff, accessible at sunisthefuture.net, beginning from May 8 through Aug. 11 of 2011, at sunisthefuture.net. If you’d get to my May 8th post on Incentive For Solar (8)-Feed-In-Tariff (FIT), at http://sunisthefuture.net, there is a very informative discussion by a panel of scientists and policy makers and even our very own Floridian Ed Regan, you would also see in my August 11 post that:the first form of feed-in-tariff was actually implemented in US in 1978, under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, telling Americans that the energy crisis was a “clear and present dangerto our nation” and drew out a plan to address it.The problem with the federal mandated feed-in-tariff rate from 1978 is that: the federal governmenthad given individual states the authority to set its own FIT rate as long as it meets the minimal level ofavoided cost. So, we ended up getting a lot of states simply setting its FIT rate at the avoided cost (for FL, this avoided cost is much lower than the cost of producing solar energy, therefore, there is no incentive for any one trying to produce extra energy). It simply would not be economically feasible.You can also find this discussion in my June 8th post and video with Craig Lewis of CleanCoalition, at http://sunisthefuture.net I have another issue with this avoided cost FIT rate: that is, itis set at a fixed rate without the consideration of what time in the day when the energy is produced. The value of energy changes throughout the day because energy is in greater demand during the day time and when sun is up (esp. in FL when it is on a hot summer day, when AC is in huge demand). The current fixed avoided cost FIT rate ends up favoring the wind energy producers and very unfavorable for the solar energy producers (solar energy is produced when demand is highest and therefore during the time when the energy is/should be more valuable.) But this can all be modified/monitored with current technologies and smart meters. So, what we need from the state government is an effective Feed-In-Tariff rate that would provide incentive (economically feasible) for every/any one who wants to participate in production of renewable energy (solar, water, wind, etc.) to do so feasibly. Some of you may argue to wait until the cost of producing renewable (esp. solar in FL) energy to be much lower and continue the status quo for now. But I (and many others) feel that we cannot afford to wait any longer because it takes time to educate, implement, and assist the general public to make the transition into a new world of renewable energy. If we want a smooth transition, without too much societal disruption, nor increased unemployment or dramatic lowering of standard of living, the most effective strategy is by implementing effective Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program (as indicated in World FutureCouncil http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/feed_in_tariffs_in_us.html) ASAP. We have seen how effectively implemented Feed-In-Tariff had already benefited our neighbor Gainesville, FL community(and at least 65 other nations and territories):

https://www.gru.com/AboutGRU/NewsReleases/Archives/Articles/news-2011-06-23.jsp

http://blip.tv/etopia-news-now/ed-regan-at-gru-talks-about-gainesville-s-first-in-u-s-feedin-tariff-1777179

http://sunisthefuture.net/?p=873

We would simply like to ask our state legislators to consider re-examining the issue of Feed-In-Tariff and come up with a plan for an effective Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program that may be inclusive of all,the small users, medium users, and large users (even utility companies). For we are all in this together. I am sure that the power/utility companies are well aware of the fact that it is much better to serve acommunity of economic prosperity, because 10% of a smaller number is still larger than 100% of zero,(such would be the case if/when the power company has to cater to the needs of a lot of unemployed users.) To insure a win-win situation for all, it would be feasible to consider working out an agreeable percentage of the net profit (resulting from renewable energy produced from effective Feed-In-Tariff) going toward the power companies for the use of the power grid.I hope you, the readers, in addition to talking to your friends, family, neighbors, and your legislators about effective Feed-In-Tariff, I urge you to sign the petition page available at http://sunisthefuture.net and tell as many people about this web site and petition drive as possible. To encourage you all to think positively about our renewable/solar energy future, I have also written and posted various topics at http://sunisthefuture.net for your perusal. Simply type these topics in thes earch box at upper right hand corner of http://sunisthefuture.net and see/hear….about….

Feed-In-Tariff

Incentive For Solar

Solar Impulse Solar Plane

Cars Of The Future

Solar High Speed Trains

Solar Shingles

Solar Hot Water Heater

What Is Solar Cell

BIPV

Why Solar

Solar Decathlon

Veolia World Solar Challenge

etc.

Please feel free to email me at sunisthefuture@gmail.com if you have any suggestions, questions or comments. Any of your input will be welcomed.

Written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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