Thursday, May 25, 2006

Steps towards a Renewable Energy Future

Open Letter to the Oregon Renewable Energy Working Group

There are many things that we can do to increase our use of clean energy and cut global warming pollution in Oregon.

We need to work to take recent technological improvements developed at OSU and other places that allow for biodiesel micro-reactors to convert organic farm waste into biodiesel fuel, and deploy these devices across the state, to be used any place where organic waste matter is produced.

We need to encourage the development of more hybrid diesel-electric vehicles to run on this fuel, so that it is consumed in the most efficient manner possible. These vehicles should all be plug-in electric hybrids, so that they can be charged off the grid for short trips, and run off biodiesel for longer ones. Additionally, solar technology can be built into the skin of the vehicle to allow for additional charging during daylight hours.

Small wind micro-plants (conical wind turbines) could be installed on the roofs of many buildings, along with more solar technology, so that each building could have the capacity to manufacture a significant portion of the electricity that it uses, if not produce a surplus for sale back to the grid.

We need to construct a comprehensive statewide electrified rail passenger and freight transportation system, built both as an expansion of and in addition to our existing rail system. This will allow us to rely less on inefficient automobile and truck transportation, and will also have the side effect of making more destinations in the state accessible to more people, including tourists and bicycle tourists.

As much of Oregon's energy as possible should come from wind and solar by 2025, in addition to tidal, fish-friendly hydro and waste-based biofuels, to power both stationary sources and the transportation system.

Oregon should become a leader in using solar power, small-scale local renewable energy like micro-wind turbines, community wind farms, biodiesel micro-reactors, small community tidal power plants, and other technologies as they are developed and tested for environmental friendliness.

This can be achieved by expanding incentives for residents and businesses to use clean energy sources, as well as encouraging research at the state research institutions, and establishing government policies mandating compliance by government agencies and setting standards for the free market.

1 comment:

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