Friday, August 29, 2003

The Last Legend of Memphis:

If you could ressurect them,
They wouldn't have to drown in their tears,
We'd have given them all the salty wet they'd ever need...

In his silver suit the future man,
Keeper of legends,
Holder of the Heroes' Lights,
He dived deep and far,
No creature stirred the waters,
Just deep and dark and quiet like the tomb,
He found the white columns half buried in silt,
After swimming past green metal gates,
With the shape of a man playing guitar,
Between two brick pillars,
He swam through the columns,
Into the hall of legends,
Loud colors blared under his lights,
Hidden in the depths of ages,
Crystal chandeliers,
He almost choked in his dive mask,
When his lamp light fell,
Upon twin stained glass peacock doors,
The stuff of legends for a thousand years,
It's not every day you find yourself,
In a God of Youth's dining hall,
Only yards from where the dead deity lies,
But he'd heard that golden voice,
Everyone had for a millennia,
The magic of children so technologically ignorant,
But buried in the data he'd found the coordinates,
And true to his deduction,
He was in the God of Music's own hall,
Fearing to swim up the stairs,
For this jealous God had never sung invitations there,
He stared again at the peacock doors,
A creature thought to be legend,
Until dug from a universe of bits,
He'd found the last Legend of Memphis,
And the daughter of God the Musical,
Even she had sang her heart out,
Crying as the waters rose over her home,
And now it wasn't a legend,
And they could worship His voice forever,
Even though it was now proven,
Even Gods of music can cry,
Even Gods of music can die,
Even Gods of Music can sink beneath the sea,
But still the last legend of Memphis,
Sings for you and me.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/29/2003

Author's Comments:
See the map above - if global warming continues,
Graceland will join the Titanic, lying at the bottom
of the Gulf of North America.
Great Lakes Daily News: 29 August 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Mercury in fish may be less toxic
The form of mercury in fish may not be the nail-laced powder keg people
thought it was, but less toxic. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (8/29)

U.S. EPA says it won't regulate CO2 emissions from autos
The Bush administration denied a petition on Thursday by three environmental
groups to declare carbon dioxide spewed by automobiles as a pollutant.
Source: Environmental News Network (8/29)

Backups kept water, sewer going in Toledo
While the regional sewer district had to let sewage bypass treatment plants
during the blackout and empty into Lake Erie, Toledo's treatment plant
continued to run. Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer (8/28)

Great Lakes salmon finally show up
There were plenty of steelhead and lake trout this summer, but the chinooks
and cohos that are the prized catches on the Great Lakes were few and far
between. Source: Detroit Free Press (8/28)

Lake Erie art contest open to high schoolers
Ohio high school students are invited to express what Lake Erie means to
them and why Lake Erie is vital to Ohio and the Great Lakes region through
an art contest sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Source: Port Clinton News Herald (8/28)

Be aware of Lyme disease, Michigan advises
As the threat of West Nile virus lingers, state health officials are warning
of another insect-borne scourge that appears to be migrating up the Lake
Michigan shoreline. Source: The Grand Rapids Press (8/28)

Last gasp: Summer fun, tourism dollars
Roughly 1.2 million Michiganians are planning Labor Day weekend trips,
offering the state's tourist industry a final chance to rescue a severely
challenged summer season. Source: The Detroit News (8/27)

For links to these stories and more, visit

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Information Network ( and the Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (, both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see or send an e-mail message to with the command 'subscribe dailynews' (minus
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There are 3 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. 2004 Toyota Prius: Powerful, roomy, stylish - and affordable
From: Green Bean
2. Solar/Wind-Powered Bus Shelter Being Launched
From: Green Bean
3. [Fwd: [awea-smallwind] Digest Number 8]
From: Dan Stafford


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 16:08:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Green Bean
Subject: 2004 Toyota Prius: Powerful, roomy, stylish - and affordable

2004 Toyota Prius: Powerful, roomy, stylish - and

TORONTO, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI)
today announced prices
for the all-new 2004 Prius, the world's first
mass-produced hybrid automobile.
With a dramatic new styling as well as significantly
more power, standard
equipment and room than the previous model, the new
Toyota Prius is the first
hybrid vehicle to provide the comfort, features and
performance of a mid-sized
In addition to Toyota's next-generation hybrid
technology, the 2004 Prius
is extremely well equipped with standard equipment,
including automatic air
conditioning, steering wheel controls for the air
conditioning and audio
systems, cabin air filtration, cruise control, heated
side mirrors, power
windows and door locks, and remote keyless entry. Even
with all these
features, the new Prius will have a Manufacturer's
Suggested Retail Price
(MSRP) identical to the previous model -- $29,990.
Equipped with an all-new package of options that
includes Vehicle
Stability Control, premium 6-speaker JBL audio system,
front-seat-mounted and
side-curtain airbags, anti-theft system, "smart key"
system, fog lamps and
garage door opener, the 2004 Prius will carry an MSRP
of just $34,055.
"The all-new, 2004 Toyota Prius has the power,
size, pricing and style to
compete head to head with conventional, 4-cylinder
mid-sized sedans," said
Stephen Beatty, Managing Director at TCI. "When it
comes to fuel efficiency
and emissions performance, however, the Prius sedan is
in a class by itself.
It's an outstanding value compared to any car in this
price range."
With its striking "monoform" design, the new
5-door liftback Prius is a
striking departure from the previous model. It is one
of the most aerodynamic
production vehicles in the world, with a drag
coefficient (Cd) of just 0.26 --
and the fluid new styling is almost as futuristic as
the new hybrid technology
used to enhance both driving and environmental
The new Prius is the first automobile to use
Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD),
Toyota's third-generation gas/electric hybrid
powertrain technology. The new
HSD produces more power from both the gasoline engine
and the electric motor,
enabling the 2004 Prius to accelerate from 0-100 km/h
in about 10 seconds,
compared to 12.7 seconds for the previous model, in
addition to offering
significantly improved passing performance.
At the same time, the new Prius, which never needs
to be plugged in for
recharging, offers the best fuel efficiency rating of
any mid-sized vehicle
sold in North America and a higher combined fuel
consumption rating than any
compact sedan sold in Canada.
Hybrid Synergy Drive will reduce the already scant
emissions of the
previous-generation Prius by an additional 30 per
cent. HSD produces nearly
90 per cent fewer smog-forming emissions than a
conventional internal
combustion engine vehicle. As a result, Prius meets
Environment Canada's Tier
2, Bin 3 standards. In addition, Prius is certified as
an Advanced Technology
Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) by the
California Air Resources

Long Warranty Protection
Toyota's 3-year/60,000 km basic new-vehicle
warranty applies to all
components other than normal wear and maintenance
items. Additional 5-year
warranties cover the powertrain for 100,000 km and
corrosion with unlimited
kilometres. The hybrid-related components, including
the HV battery, battery
control module, hybrid control module and inverter
with converter, are covered
for 8 years/160,000 km. Prius also comes with
7-day/24-hour roadside
assistance for 36 months.


For further information: please email
or contact:
F. David Stone, Manager, Public Relations, Toyota
Canada Inc., (416) 431-8333


All-Energy News and Discussion




Message: 2
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 16:12:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Green Bean
Subject: Solar/Wind-Powered Bus Shelter Being Launched

Green-Powered Bus Shelter Being Launched

By Yakub Qureshi, PA News

The first in a new generation of bus shelters was
being officially launched today.

The wind and sun-powered enclosure, based in
Motherwell, Lanarkshire, will be lit up during night
using energy stored up from its inbuilt solar panels
and windmill turbine.

It is hoped the new shelter, which was being unveiled
this morning as a pilot study by shelter firm Adshel
and North Lanarkshire Council, could eventually spread
and replace existing designs across the UK.

The company build and operate 80% of the UK’s bus
shelters – some 40,000 enclosures – in cooperation
with local councils, making money from selling
advertising space.

Pieter Johnson, operational director for Adshel, said
the technology was not only better for the environment
but would solve the logistical problem of powering the
shelters, meaning more could be built.

Speaking before the launch, he said: “We often have
locations where it is quite difficult or extremely
expensive to get power lines connected so we have to
find different ways of getting the shelter lit for
passengers and to display advertising.

“We have been operating solar-powered bus shelters in
the UK for three or four years but they have been very
developmental and the lack of light in some locations
led us to try and find another source of renewable

“Solar power has become more reliable but the wind
turbine will help compensate for different light
levels throughout the year and in different parts of
the country.”

The shelter, which is located in Motherwell’s Airbles
Road, incorporates a series solar panels on its roof
and a wind turbine is positioned nearby on a
five-metre post.

The inner courtesy light and advertising panel require
a constant supply of 200 watts but the shelter’s
designers said that even in conditions of total
darkness where there was no wind, the battery stores
enough power to keep the lights on for five days.

In order to conserve power more efficiently,
photo-electric sensors automatically switch the
shelter’s lights off and on depending on conditions.

Mr Johnson said the one-off costs of installing new
shelters depended on its location but would almost
always be less than the costs of additional power
lines for traditional shelters in remote areas.

The company would not have to pay running costs other
than maintenance for the green-energy shelters, which
would have an operational life of 15 years, the
business chief added.

Dr Dan Barlow, head of research for Friends of the
Earth Scotland, welcomed the new technology and hoped
that it would be used elsewhere.

He said: “We certainly welcome developments in this

“It is often the case that bus shelters and other
types of street furniture are using energy every
night, every day of the year, so making them
self-sufficient is a great step towards

“We hope this kind of technology can be rolled out to
other sites as well as other applications.”


All-Energy News and Discussion



Message: 3
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 06:42:17 -0500
From: Dan Stafford
Subject: [Fwd: [awea-smallwind] Digest Number 8]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [awea-smallwind] Digest Number 8
Date: 29 Aug 2003 11:33:07 -0000

AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts:
The AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts list is a timely source for information updates, news clips and action alerts focusing on small wind energy. This list is announcement-only with low-traffic, weekly mailings.


Group home page:


There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. FW: Energy Co-op Symposium: Registration Extended
From: "Smallwind"


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 17:33:21 -0700
From: "Smallwind"
Subject: FW: Energy Co-op Symposium: Registration Extended

In case you haven't yet heard about this exciting event - we are working to
include a tour of one or more small wind turbine sites in LA County the
afternoon of Sept. 29, and will be releasing AWEA's first-ever Siting
Handbook for Small Wind!


-----Original Message-----
From: Info at NWSEED []
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 11:30 AM
Subject: Energy Co-op Symposium: Registration Extended

Early Bird Registration has been extended to 8/31/03 -- secure your spot
today and save!

9/29 & 9/30, 2003
Universal City, CA

Join us for an exciting event on building markets for distributed
generation, showcasing wind and solar cooperatives. The Energy Co-op
Symposium will review the rapidly changing energy industry, especially the
electricity sector.

Register by August 31st to receive the early bird discount ($89). After
August 31st , fee is $119. Opening reception begins Monday, 9/29 at
6:00pm. Symposium runs from 8am to 4pm on Tuesday, 9/30. Prizes will be
awarded to event participants, including a new GEM Electric Car!

This conference is designed for community leaders who have an interest in
electricity and related energy issues and who want to know what they can do
locally to reduce energy bills for homeowners, businesses and government
facilities. The symposium will be of particular interest to community
leaders who want to learn more about California's new Community Choice
Aggregation laws. The rules for how local officials can aggregate electric
load and shop for lower prices are being negotiated today! Topics include:

* The New Clean Power Co-op

* Local Energy Co-op Development

* Community Choice Aggregation

* Renewable Energy Programs

* Demand Reduction Programs

* The latest on local co-gen and distributed generation opportunities

* National Energy Markets

* California's Energy Future

* Overcoming Siting Barriers for Small-Scale Renewables, including

Visit for a brochure,
registration, exhibitor, and sponsorship information or contact Jennifer
Grove (

Sponsored by Golden State Power Cooperative, Northwest Sustainable Energy
for Economic Development, Center For Cooperatives at UC Davis , Western Area
Power Administration, and ACES Power Marketing.
PASS IT ALONG! - Forward LAKENET messages to any friends or colleagues working on lakes - make a splash in your watershed and beyond!

LAKENET is a global network of people and organizations promoting the conservation and sustainable management of lakes. LAKENET's website, electronic forum and other programs are now serving 800 members in more than 90 countries and on hundreds of lakes around the world. The LAKENET Secretariat is a US-based nonprofit organization and moderates this electronic forum. Visit the LakeNet website at or contact us by Email:

To Subscribe:
To Post a message, send it to:


There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Network News: Invitation to Preview the Improved Website and Review Experience Briefs
From: "Lisa Borre"


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 20:08:25 -0400
From: Lisa Borre
Subject: Network News: Invitation to Preview the Improved Website and Review Experience Briefs

Dear LakeNet Members,

On behalf of the LakeNet Secretariat, I invite you to preview recent
improvements to our website at The new and
improved website is the culmination of five years of information collection
about lakes and their management which is now part of a searchable, online
database. We hope it provides more and better information in an easier to
use format and serves as a catalyst for effective work to protect and
restore the health of lakes throughout the world.

Highlights of the new website include:

· An improved database of information on over 2,000 lakes with hundreds of
more detailed lake profiles which describe physical characteristics and
management issues and include links to timely news articles, lake
organizations and other relevant resources;

· breaking news stories on lakes and lake issues with a searchable archive
of over 1,000 articles;

· links to over 1,500 organizations and resources useful to lake managers
and others working to protect and restore lakes;

· a maps section, drawn from a database of more than 250,000 lakes, that
begins with global lake maps and will include regional, national and
individual lake basin maps; and

· a special section of the website dedicated to the Lake Basin Management
Initiative, a global initiative to document and share experiences and
lessons learned in lake management.

We would like to draw your attention to drafts of Experience and Lessons
Learned Briefs which are currently posted for review and comment at:

Improvements to the website and information management system were made
possible with grants from the United States Agency for International
Development and the Global Environment Facility and with the cooperation of
the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) in Japan and Saint
Michael’s College in Vermont.

The website is still a work in progress and other features will be added in
the coming weeks, including a universal search, program updates and online
forms to send us information. As always, we welcome your feedback and
encourage you to send us information for inclusion on the website or to
participate in LakeNet’s e-Forum by sending a message to or by posting a message to the group at:

Best regards,

Lisa Borre
LakeNet Secretariat
300 State Street
Annapolis, MD 21403 USA
Tel: 410-268-5155
Fax: 410-268-8788

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

From Alt Power Digest on Yahoo! Groups

There are 3 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. EERE Network News -- 08/27/03
From: Tom Gray
2. Home Geothermal (Ground Source Heat Pump)
From: Green Bean
3. Wind Power Can Help Prevent the Next Blackout
From: Green Bean


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 09:33:31 -0400
From: Tom Gray
Subject: EERE Network News -- 08/27/03

EERE NETWORK NEWS -- August 27, 2003
A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

*News and Events
Hydropower and Conservation Contributed to Blackout Recovery
San Francisco Approves $16 Million Energy Efficiency Program
New Jersey Awards $2.7 Million to Renewable Energy Companies
Companies Unveil New Building-Integrated Solar Panels
Automakers Drop Lawsuits Over California ZEV Rules
Organizations, Consumers Still Pursuing Electric Vehicles

*Site News
DOE Updates Its Weatherization Assistance Program Web Site

*Energy Connections
After Blackout, Groups Envision Future Power System Options

*About this Newsletter

Hydropower and Conservation Contributed to Blackout Recovery

New York State may draw on a wide number of energy sources for its
electricity, but when it needed to recover from the August 14th
blackout, it turned to hydropower. Hydroelectric power plants have the
ability to "blackstart" -- start generating power without help from
any external power source -- and to produce power immediately. In
contrast, nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants require significant
startup times, and nuclear power plants are not permitted to operate
while the power grid is not energized. According to the National
Hydropower Association (NHA), hydropower facilities were the first to
be placed in operation in order to establish a stable power grid, the
critical first step in restoring power to the region. See the press
release on the NHA Web site at:

Energy conservation also played an important role during the recovery,
as power supplies remained tight for several days after the blackout.
See, for example, the press releases from two utilities that serve New
York State, Niagara Mohawk and Consolidated Edison: and

San Francisco Approves $16 Million Energy Efficiency Program

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a $16.3 million energy
efficiency pilot project for the city in late July. The city's
environment department will work with the Pacific Gas and Electric
Company (PG&E) to run the program, which aims to reduce peak
electricity demand for both homes and businesses. The program will
include nine elements aimed at reducing peak power use by 16 megawatts
in the city by January 2005. The nine program elements include
installing energy efficiency measures in the homes of low-income
families, providing energy audits and other technical support to
businesses, and offering rebates to multifamily housing units and
businesses. See the PG&E press release at:

New Jersey Awards $2.7 Million to Renewable Energy Companies

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced in early
August its award of $2.7 million to 10 renewable energy businesses.
The awards are part of the state's Renewable Energy and Economic
Development Program, which promotes renewable energy business
development in the state. The firms will use the grants to explore
wave energy, develop a variety of solar energy technologies,
investigate means of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources,
and produce power from that hydrogen using fuel cells. The grants will
also go toward efforts to assist local government officials in buying
green power and to assist energy service companies in providing
renewable energy services. See the New Jersey BPU press release at:

Companies Unveil New Building-Integrated Solar Panels

Two companies in recent weeks have announced new solar power products
that will allow solar power to be integrated into buildings. Solar
panels are expensive, and one approach to alleviating that expense is
to make the panels serve a dual purpose, producing power while acting
as a functional part of the building -- an approach called building-
integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV.

United Solar Ovonic LLC -- Ovonic Solar, for short -- has teamed up
with GenFlex Roofing Systems to offer a photovoltaic roofing product
for flat or low-slope commercial roofs. The result, according to the
two companies, is a durable, weather-resistant roofing material that
also generates power. See the Ovonic Solar press release, in PDF
format only, at:

Spire Solar Chicago has introduced a translucent solar module that can
be used for skylights or awnings. The solar modules, which feature a
clear back sheet to allow light to pass through, recently passed
environmental and safety testing by Underwriters Laboratory. The
modules will be used for awnings in a new condominium project and for
cornices in a new commercial building, both located in Chicago. See
the Spire Solar Chicago press release at:

Automakers Drop Lawsuits Over California ZEV Rules

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced on August 12th
that it has reached an agreement with automakers and car dealers that
will end litigation over the state's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)
regulation. The litigation involved three lawsuits -- filed by
DaimlerChrysler Corporation, General Motors Corporation, Isuzu Motors
Limited, and several car dealers -- challenging CARB's authority to
promulgate the regulation. The agreement calls for the plaintiffs to
dismiss their lawsuits once the new 2003 ZEV regulation is finalized.
See the CARB press release, in PDF format only, at:

As reported in the April 30th edition of this newsletter, the new 2003
ZEV regulation gives automakers greater flexibility, allowing
automakers to earn credits by selling clean hybrid-electric or
natural-gas vehicles, extremely clean conventional vehicles, or
vehicles powered by fuel cells. See the April 30th story at:

Organizations, Consumers Still Pursuing Electric Vehicles

Despite the changes in the ZEV regulations, which greatly reduce the
requirement to sell all-electric vehicles in California, a number of
programs are underway throughout the country to promote electric
vehicles. In mid-July, the State of Hawaii and Hyundai Motor Company
announced a two-year extension of a program that is testing 15
electric sport utility vehicles in local fleets. Enova Systems
provided a 90-kilowatt electric drive for the vehicles. In late July,
the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Global Electric Motorcars
(GEM), a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, donated 300 small electric
vehicles for use in 40 locations around the state. Called neighborhood
electric vehicles, or NEVs, the low-speed vehicles are mainly being
used on campuses. GEM has reached a number of milestones recently,
including sales of 10,000 NEVs in California, 1,000 NEVs in New York,
and introductions of the vehicles in New Hampshire and Maine. And
according to a study by the Green Car Institute, California owners of
NEVs are using them for 65 percent of their daily short-distance
trips, driving a total of 12.6 million zero-emissions miles each year.
See the press releases from Enova Systems, NYPA, GEM, and the Green
Car Institute at:,,, and

DOE Updates Its Weatherization Assistance Program Web Site

The Web site for DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program now has an
updated look and feel that reflects the look of the EERE Web site.
The revised site includes a greatly expanded section on each state's
weatherization activities: Click on "State Activities" to see the
wealth of information provided there. The site also takes on a new
Web address -- -- so for those of
you whose Web sites link to the Weatherization Assistance Program,
please update your links to the new address.

After Blackout, Groups Envision Future Power System Options

In the wake of the August 14th blackout, energy groups are already
trying to answer the most crucial question: How can we prevent this
from happening again? The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
thinks it already has the answer. A new EPRI report articulates a
vision of a unified, digitally controlled power grid that can move
power precisely and reliably throughout North America, a concept first
articulated by EPRI in its 1999 Electricity Technology Roadmap. The
new report also calls for advanced meter technologies and increased
use of distributed energy resources. See the 1999 roadmap and the
August 25th press release at:

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an energy think tank, agrees with
EPRI on at least one point: the enhanced use of distributed energy
resources -- including relatively small, modular power devices such as
fuel cells, solar panels, microturbines, and combined heat and power
systems -- would boost the reliability of our nation's electrical
supply. RMI also suggests establishing small office parks that can be
isolated from the grid. See the RMI press release, in PDF format only,

Meanwhile, DOE, the U.S./Canada Joint Task Force, and other groups
continue to investigate the cause of the August 14th blackout. While
the root cause has not been determined, the first failures occurred on
several power lines just south of Cleveland that are operated by
FirstEnergy Corporation. Still unclear is the cause of those failures
and how such apparently minor line failures managed to cascade into
such a widespread outage. According to the North American Electric
Reliability Council (NERC), pinpointing the exact cause of the
blackout will be a challenging task. See the August 15th "Preliminary
Disturbance Report" and subsequent press releases from NERC at:

According to FirstEnergy Corporation, the transmission grids
throughout the region were experiencing load swings and unusual
voltage and frequency fluctuations for hours prior to the blackout.
See the FirstEnergy press releases from August 16th and 18th at:

You can subscribe to this newsletter using the online form at:
This Web page also allows you to update your email address
or unsubscribe to this newsletter.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
home page is located at:

If you have questions or comments about this
newsletter, please contact the editor, Kevin Eber, at


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 14:55:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Green Bean
Subject: Home Geothermal (Ground Source Heat Pump)

Heating system mines rich vein of Earth's energy

Hanneke Brooymans
The Edmonton Journal

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
CREDIT: Larry Wong, The Journal

Gary Lutz inspects the geothermal heating and cooling system in the basement of his house.

EDMONTON - Geothermal "guinea pigs" are popping up in many Edmonton neighbourhoods as residents literally dig deep in their search for reliably priced energy. "Everyone's hugely curious," said Steve Baker, looking down at a trench in front of the shell of his home-to-be in Crestwood. Peeking out from under the dirt is a length of pipe that will connect a heat pump in his home to pipes that will gather energy from deep in the ground. Baker plans to heat and air condition his 5,500-square-foot home with geothermal energy. It will also help heat water. Neighbours are watching his experiment with great interest, he says with a grin. "Everyone wants someone they know to be the guinea pig. "Let's face it," he adds, "in Alberta things like geothermal heating and cooling are curiosities. In other parts of North America, they're standard. It's not new technology. It's just new here because we're so fossil-fuel rich."

Tired of the uncertainty of natural gas supplies and seeing an opportunity in the construction of a brand new home, Baker said he wanted to give geothermal energy a try. "While I am not a raging environmentalist, I think while we have the opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels I think it is the responsible thing to do. "He isn't entirely certain his geothermal energy source will save him money or offer an adequate supply of energy. So he made sure a gas furnace can be slid into the spot where the ground source heat pump will stand, if need be. And he has made sure his house has a suitably sloped, south-facing roof in preparation for the day when solar power becomes more feasible. Baker estimates equipping his home for geothermal energy will cost him $10,000 more than he would have paid for traditional furnaces, air conditioning, boiler and in-floor heating. Added to his mortgage, the extra expense is quite bearable, he says.

Don Parsons is a partner in Earth Geothermal, based in Red Deer. He said Edmonton has been the slowest city to adopt the energy source in Western Canada, though he isn't sure why. Right now, his business is seeing hot spots in Rocky Mountain House and Delburne.

Henry Lutz is the owner of Global Geothermal, which also constructs the energy systems. His company is almost a year old and has 30 projects in the works, six of which are in Edmonton. Lutz says the systems tend to cost around $25,000 to $30,000 for a normal house.

People like the idea of being environmentally friendly, but some of them get an even bigger charge out of gaining some independence from utility companies. "Utility companies have been having their way with us for decades," Lutz said. "People have a passion to literally get rid of them." While geothermal energy can't completely free people from the clutches of power companies -- some electricity is needed to run the heat pump -- it can drastically reduce overall dependence, especially on natural gas.

Lutz convinced his brother, Gary, to try geothermal energy, too. Gary Lutz was in the process of completely renovating his home in Highlands when his brother started talking about this wonderful power source. "I said, 'Hmm, this sounds too good to be true.' " Research on the Internet and monitoring of winter gas prices convinced him the expense and effort would be worthwhile.

Gary had just expanded his 800-square-foot home to 1,250 square feet. The house is still in the throes of renovations, a quick tour through the house shows. The basement is like an exposed root system of wires and pipes. Gary proudly points out the spot where his furnace used to be. "Now it's gone, out of my life," he says with relish. Inside the home's new crawl space lies the brand new heat pump, poised for action. It is waiting only for the installation of some larger ducts.

Gary's enormous garage boasts a heat pump, too. At current gas and electricity prices, he calculated his investment will be paid off in 20 years. Like Baker, he admits it's all a big experiment. "What's the worst that can happen?" Baker asks. "If we're not happy with it, we'll install a gas furnace."


All-Energy News and Discussion




Message: 3
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 15:00:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Green Bean
Subject: Wind Power Can Help Prevent the Next Blackout

Wind Power Can Help Prevent the Next Blackout

Wind Power Developers Convene in Wyoming, Discuss Wind's Long-term Benefits to the Environment, the Economy and the Grid

DOUGLAS, Wyo., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ --

As more than 50 million Americans and Canadians recover from the Blackout of 2003, conversations turn to the future and how to avoid this kind of disaster from happening again. At the Renewable Energy for Wyoming Conference beginning today in Douglas, Wyoming, discussions will undoubtedly focus on how wind power and other sustainable energy sources can play a larger role in the prevention of future catastrophic blackouts.

According to New York-based developer Arcadia Windpower, Ltd. and its Wyoming partner, HTH Wind Energy, Inc., a featured conference participant, wind power can help solve some of the problems that contributed to the blackout and can help reduce the likelihood of future blackouts.

"This first ever renewable energy conference in the state of Wyoming comes at a time of rising fossil fuel prices and concern about grid reliability. Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal deserves credit for his focus on renewables and their benefits to his state," said Dan Leach, CEO of HTH Wind Energy, Inc. "With 140 megawatts of wind electricity generators spinning, wind in Wyoming will stimulate economic development, help stabilize electricity prices, and provide fuel diversity in the state's generation mix."

According to Peter D. Mandelstam, founder and president of Arcadia Windpower, "Wind power, which is naturally clean, safe, and renewable, is also perfectly suited to strengthening the grid, which is what's important after a blackout like the one we had last week. Wind power needs to be part of the short-term solution and long-term reliability of the grid." Grid stability can be achieved through distributed generation -- placing generating facilities throughout the region's grid so that when one section of the grid goes down, the distribution facilities are able to keep the rest of the grid in operation. Wind farms are particularly suitable for this strategy because they are scalable in nature and therefore can be sized according to local energy needs. Fossil fuel plants, on the other hand, can work only as large-scale power plants. Additionally, wind farms, which can be plugged directly into a metropolitan area like New York City or a local pocket such as Long Island, can also ease transmission bottlenecks. The transmission bottlenecks north of New York City that likely contributed to the Blackout of 2003 could have been reduced had a wind farm in close proximity been in place and operating -- such as the off-shore project currently proposed for the south shore of Long Island.

"One of the most attractive features of wind power and off-shore wind, in particular, is the ability to site a plant close to where the electricity will be used," said Tom Gray, Deputy Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association. "The recent blackout makes a compelling case for a wind plant
off of Long Island that can deliver electricity directly to neighboring communities and the region." Another benefit of wind power in a blackout situation is that as long as the grid is operating, a wind power facility can begin generating electricity almost immediately. In contrast, nuclear and fossil fuel plants must go through long restart and warm-up procedures of up to 48 hours. Time is also reduced in the development of wind power generating facilities, which can be built in just six to nine months. A conventional power plant generally cannot be completed from design to operation in less than two years.

About the Renewable Energy for Wyoming Conference

The Converse County Area New Development Organization (CANDO) is hosting a renewable energy conference Thursday and Friday August 21 and 22 at the Best Western Conference Center in Douglas. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Wyoming Business Council, CANDO, and Arcadia HTH. The tentative speaker list includes David Garman, assistant secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Wyoming Governor Dave
Freudenthal, and representatives from several companies involved in wind and solar power.

About Arcadia Windpower, Ltd.

Arcadia Windpower develops and finances utility-scale wind electricity generation projects. Arcadia was established in 1997 and is privately held.

About HTH Wind Energy, Inc.

HTH scouts and develops wind electricity projects in seven Rocky Mountain and Great Plains states. HTH was founded in 2000 and is privately held.

SOURCE Arcadia HTH Windpower


All-Energy News and Discussion

September 2003 Small Wind Newsletter
Issue No. 4, August 27, 2003

Editor: Larry Sherwood, Interstate Renewable Energy Council

The current Small Wind Newsletter is also available on the web. Click here. If you have trouble with links in this e-mail message, try the web version of the newsletter.

Article summaries follow the Table of Contents


(1) Massachusetts Launches Community Wind Collaborative
(2) Washington – Chelan PUD Adds Second Wind Turbine
(3) Federal Agencies Award Renewable Energy Grants
(4) Vermont – Microgrid Power Network to Address Rick of Power Outages
(5) California – Energy Co-op Symposium Scheduled for September
(6) Wyoming – Roping the Wind Conference Report
(7) Upcoming Small Wind Events

(8) FERC Issues Rules on Generator Interconnection Standards

(9) Hawaii Energy Tax Credits

(10) Stevens Point Journal (WI)
(11) Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)

(12) Software – Calculating Small Wind Economics Using the Clean Power Estimator
(13) Small Turbine Test Data Released by NREL

Includes information on how to subscribe and unsubscribe.


(1) Massachusetts Launches Community Wind Collaborative
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), the state’s development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy, is launching a new $4 million initiative through its Renewable Energy Trust. The Community Wind Collaborative will help Massachusetts communities evaluate, design, construct, and operate smaller wind projects (4.5 MW or less) to both reduce energy costs and contribute to a cleaner environment for Massachusetts citizens. Full article.

(2) Washington – Chelan PUD Adds Second Wind Turbine
The second home wind turbine in the Chelan County (Washington) Public Utility District (PUD) went up in May, crowning a successful partnership between the PUD’s green power program and a newly formed wind cooperative that’s helping pare down turbine installation costs for homeowners. Don and Bev Grim hosted a barbeque at their home in Peshastin to show off their new 10-kilowatt Bergey turbine, which brought a state representative and county commissioners out for a look. All power produced by the Grims' wind system is fed into the PUD's grid. Full article.

(3) Federal Agencies Award Renewable Energy Grants
In separate announcements, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced renewable energy and energy efficiency grants totaling over $38 million. Some of the awards will support small wind development. Full article.

(4) Vermont – MicroGrid Power Network to Address Risk of Power Outages
Northern Power Systems recently announced that it will engineer, build, and operate a custom-designed, utility-connected energy generation, storage and distribution network within the area known as Mad River Park in Waitsfield, Vermont. This first-of-its-kind MicroGrid® power network will operate in parallel with the bulk utility generation and distribution system and will provide dramatically increased power quality and reliability to residences and businesses (including Northern's newly constructed headquarters facility) located in the park. Full article.

(5) California - Energy Co-op Symposium Scheduled for September
Golden State Power Cooperative is hosting an Energy Co-op Symposium in Hollywood, CA, on September 29th and 30th. This conference is designed for community leaders who have an interest in electricity and related energy issues and who want to know what they can do locally to reduce energy bills for homeowners, businesses and government facilities. Full article.

(6) Wyoming – Roping the Wind Conference Report
Wyoming's first statewide renewable energy conference on August 21 and 22 was a great success. Full article.

(7) Upcoming Small Wind Events
Listing of upcoming small wind events.


Headlines from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Connecting to the Grid web site.

(8) FERC Issues Rules on Generator Interconnection Standards
On July 24, 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a rule on standardized interconnection procedures and agreements for large generators, and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) for standardized interconnection of small generators. These rules follow the division of the FERC’s original advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR) on generator interconnection standards into a NOPR for the large generators and a second ANOPR for small generators. Full article.


New Incentives reported by DSIRE. The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. Select wind from the drop down menu and all wind incentives will appear.

(9) Hawaii Energy Tax Credits
Originally enacted in 1990, the Hawaii Energy Tax Credits allow individuals or corporations to claim an income tax credit of 20% of the cost of equipment and installation of a wind system and 35% of the cost of equipment and installation of a solar thermal or photovoltaic system. In 2003, the tax credits were revised and extended to the end of 2007. The revised credits apply to renewable energy technology systems installed and placed in service after June 30, 2003 and now include a cap of $250,000 on the amount of credit allowed for commercial property.¤tpageid=3


(10) Stevens Point Journal (WI), August 22, 2003, Advocates tout benefits of alternative energy sources. Full article.

(11) Times-Standard (Eureka, CA), August 19, 2003, Tilting up a turbine – Each turn of the blade subtracts from PG&E's bill. Full article.


(12) Software - Calculating Small Wind Economics Using the Clean Power Estimator
The Clean Power Estimator calculates the economics of clean energy systems. Versions of the Estimator, which include Small Wind, are available in New York and California. Full article.

(13) Small Wind Turbine Test Data Released by NREL
The National Wind Test Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released small wind turbine test data performed under DOE's Field Verification Project. This project has two aspects. The first was to run a suite of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) tests for each of the turbines involved with this program. And the second aspect was to collect longer-term field data on small wind turbines sited across the US. These longer-term field tests are ongoing and data collection and reporting are continuing at a slow pace. Full article.


The Small Wind Newsletter is published electronically every month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The Small Wind Web Site contains news, resources, and links.

To subscribe, go to, fill in the subscription form, and then click on subscribe. There is no fee for subscriptions. If you wish to unsubscribe, fill in your e-mail address and click on unsubscribe.

If you have comments or news items, please send them to Larry Sherwood at

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts:
The AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts list is a timely source for information updates, news clips and action alerts focusing on small wind energy. This list is announcement-only with low-traffic, weekly mailings.

Group home page:


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 11:07:13 -0700
From: "Kevin Fullerton"

Release No. 0295.03
Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Tim McNeilly (202) 690-0498


DES MOINES, Iowa, August 25, 2003---The U.S. Department of
Agriculture announced the selection of 113 applications for renewable
energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grants in 24 states
totaling $21,207,233, including over $1.2 million for nine recipients
from Iowa.

The grant program is part of the Bush Administration's overall
effort to increase America's energy independence through the development
of renewable energy resources as well as improving efficiency of
existing systems.

"America's rural businesses, farmers and ranchers are key to the
development of renewable energy for our country,"
Under Secretary for
Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr said during a press conference here
with Senator Charles Grassley. "The capital investments being made
through these grants will support the conversion of our natural
resources and residuals of farming operations into new sources of energy
and help meet the energy goals outlined by President Bush in 2001."

The 2002 Farm Bill authorized the Renewable Energy Systems and
Energy Efficiency Improvements program. Applicants for the funding
include agricultural producers or rural small businesses, U.S. citizens
or legal residents and have demonstrated financial need. Rural
Development grant funds can be used to pay up to 25 percent of the
eligible project costs. Eligible projects include those that derive
energy from a wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal source, or hydrogen
derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy
sources. Awards were made on a competitive basis for the purchase of
renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

Funding to assist with the development of renewable energy systems
included: 35 applications totaling $7.4 million to support wind power,
30 applications totaling $7 million for anaerobic digesters, 6
applications totaling $1.1 million solar and 16 applications totaling
$3.9 million for a ethanol plants/anaerobic digesters, direct combustion
and fuel pellet systems. Awards were made on a competitive basis for the
purchase of renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

The following is a complete list of approved project dollars by state:

California - $691,830

Hawaii - $60,966

Idaho - $1,010,000

Illinois - $2,186,596

Iowa - $1,258,440

Kansas - $29,075

Massachusetts - $970,000

Michigan - $434,500

Minnesota - $4,678,632

Mississippi - $231,503

Missouri - $124,499

Montana $37,000

Nebraska - $177,654

New York - $2,878,027

North Carolina - $130,000

North Dakota - $10,410

Ohio - $2,043,612

South Carolina - $15,000

South Dakota - $62,500

Texas - $999,350

Vermont - $79,001

Virginia - $500,000

Washington - $883,028

Wisconsin - $1,715,610

A list of selected applicants can be found at the USDA Rural
Development web site at:

USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way
that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the
quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural
Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and
foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical
community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural
programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by
visiting USDA's web site at
From Business Week, an article that on first reading seems to make a lot of sense to me:

For a commodity we take for granted, electricity is remarkably challenging to deliver. The national grid that sends electrons to our computers and toasters is, in essence, one huge electrical circuit. The laws of physics dictate that supply and demand must stay in exquisite balance, like a ballerina endlessly pirouetting en pointe. If one transmission line fails, the system must instantaneously reroute power or other lines and power plants will fall like so many dominoes, causing massive blackouts.

The surprise is that the unsung managers of the grid successfully maintain this delicate balance virtually all the time, using automation and their own judgment to keep electricity flowing amid storms, floods, and power-plant crashes. Indeed, problems like those suffered by power lines in Ohio, which may have led to the Aug. 14 blackout, are solved constantly every day on the grid. "This blackout should not have occurred," says...(Read on in: How to Fix the Electrical Grid Enforcing tighter standards and introducing a healthy dose of digital smarts will minimize the risk of future blackouts.)
And one more from The Greenhouse Network, a story about another way U.S. agricultural interests may impact the situation:

June 6, 2003 - Reuters

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting up incentives for farmers to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the battle against global warming, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said on Friday.

Veneman said the USDA will provide an unspecified amount of financial incentives for farmers, as well as technical assistance and training in management practices to increase the removal of harmful carbon dioxide and other gases from the atmosphere, a process called "carbon sequestration."

"These actions will help ... (Read on in: USDA Teaming with Farmers to Fight Global Warming )

Monday, August 25, 2003

Additionally from The Greenhouse Network, a bit on the cost comparisons between addressing global warming and not doing so:

Joe Lieberman, John McCain
Friday, August 1, 2003

For too long, the debate on climate change has been at a stalemate: On one side are those calling for deep cuts in greenhouse gases, whatever the cost. On the other side are many business leaders who have downplayed the global-warming threat, fearing new regulations will cut their profits and their payrolls. The topic of global warming has become overheated with acrimony and polluted by misinformation. But the terms of the debate are skewed: Environmental protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. In fact, in the long run, they are mutually reinforcing. Understanding this requires that we transcend the zero-sum thinking about climate change and make the right cost comparison.

The question is not whether the costs of doing business will rise if emissions caps are imposed. The real question is how much it will cost business -- and American taxpayers -- in the near future if we fail to tackle this growing threat now.

The bottom line is that the potential economic rewards of confronting climate change outweigh the risks -- and realizing these rewards could be the key to American industry reclaiming its global competitive advantage. It is on these terms that we have worked with both industry and environmentalists to craft the Climate Stewardship Act -- the first serious, balanced, bipartisan legislation that the U.S. Senate will vote on in years as we consider the energy bill in the coming days.

The act -- an amendment to the energy bill -- sets real global warming targets but gives industry the flexibility and incentives to meet them. It is based on sound business principles and built on our success in controlling acid rain by creating a market for companies to trade pollution "credits" and compete to clean the air. Most important, the Lieberman-McCain climate change amendment promises to significantly reduce pollution levels that threaten our health, our environment and our economy.

Taking action to protect the environment is not cost free -- but the costs of our approach are reasonable and affordable, by any measure. A recent MIT study estimated that our bill would cost approximately $20 per household, and analysts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predict that the impact on our GNP would be no more than .01 percent. A second study by the independent Tellus Institute predicted that our legislation would save Americans $48 billion net by 2020 due to reduced energy demand.

Compare this to the costs of inaction. According to a United Nations' study,

every ton of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere costs each American up to $160 -- and we are emitting billions of tons each...(Read on in: Climate Change and Federal Policy
A response to inaction on global warming
(Please note this does not constitute endorsement of the proposed bill or these gentlemens' candidacies for public office on the part of the G.L. Zephyr.)
From The Greenhouse Network, effects on the North polar ice cap caused by global warming, and what we can expect as a result:

Wed Aug 13,2003

OSLO (AFP) - The Arctic ice cap will melt completely within the next century if carbon dioxide emissions continue to heat the Earth's atmosphere at current rates, according to an international study.

"Since 1978, the ice cap has shrunk by nearly three or four percent per decade. At the turn of the century there will be no more ice at the North Pole in summer," one of the study's authors, Ola Johannessen, told AFP on Wednesday.

"If the CO2 emissions continue to accelerate, that may occur sooner, but if we cut them back the process will be slowed," said Johannessen, a professor at the Nansen research institute in Bergen, Norway.

Observations of the Arctic by satellite show that the polar ice cap has shrunk by one million square kilometers (386,000 square miles) over the last 20 years and is only six million square kilometers in the summer.

According to Johannessen, the total melting of the ice cap would set free a massive flow of cold water, which would strongly reduce warm surface ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream is the reason behind Europe's temperate climate and a reduction in its influence would have serious consequences for climate and the ecosystem in the continent.

But Johannessen also said that contrary to received wisdom a melting of the ice cap would not entail a rise in the level of ...(Read on in: Arctic ice cap will melt completely in 100 years)

Friday, August 22, 2003

A projection of future and past shorelines in North America as global warming advances:

Being a huge Elvis fan, I have a very hard time with Graceland being located on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, a.k.a. the Gulf of North America if this continues...and we're only talking 50 more years at most. Click on the picture above for more information...
Finally, it begins, and TEXAS is leading the way.

AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts:
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There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

From: Vaughn Nelson


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 10:29:02 -0500
From: Vaughn Nelson
Subject: WEWT

Can still sign up through next week

Vaughn Nelson

Physics 302, Fall 2003
West Texas A&M University
Instructor: Dr. Vaughn Nelson

Web Based Course through WTOnline, F 03, Class starts week of 8/25, ends
Course Information:

Can be taken for college credit, continuing education ($500), or
certificate ($400).
Registration information:

Course Description
Introductory course with some math, calculations and use of spread sheet.
At the end of the course you should be able to
Understand energy and power as it relates to wind resource and wind
turbine energy production.
Be able to measure (instrumentation) wind parameters and analyze data
Understand operational parameters of wind turbines (mechanical,
electrical, control).
Size systems and predict performance.
Understand institutional issues: local, environmental, and national.
Calculate economic values from simple payback to life cycle costs.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Energy
3. Wind Characteristics
4. Instrumentation and Measurement
5. Wind Turbines
6. Design of Wind Turbines
7. Electrical Aspects
8. System Performance
9. Siting
10. Wind Industry
11. Institutional Issues
12. Economics
Great Lakes Daily News: 22 August 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

The blackout is getting Michigan to think green
Last week's power outage has given a boost to environmental and conservation
forces, as well as to companies in the business of setting up clean energy
systems. Source: Detroit Free Press (8/22)

Buy a boat or dream
The 24th annual Michigan City In-Water Boat Show, Lake Michigan's largest
in-water display of boats and boating gear, runs through Sunday at
Washington Park Marina in Indiana. Source: Gary Post-Tribune (8/22)

Shoreline grooming group forms PAC
Save Our Shoreline, Inc., the group which has fought for the right to
conduct beach maintenance on areas exposed by low water levels, is forming a
political action committee to advance its cause. Source: The Bay City Times

Chemical spills into drinking water
A Canadian chemical company faced questions on Wednesday from angry
residents demanding to know why they weren't told earlier about a toxic
spill into the St. Clair River following last week's power failure. Source:
Detroit Free Press (8/22)

Huron gets mixed reviews in lake report
Lake Huron, which is recovering from decades of environmental contamination,
but still faces threats from shoreline development and invasive species,
receives a "mixed" rating in a State of the Great Lakes 2003 report. Source:
The Bay City Times (8/21)

GLP seeks to update electricity corridor between Wawa, Sault
Great Lakes Power Ltd. is seeking regulatory approval to refurbish its
167-kilometre transmission corridor between Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie.
Source: The Sault Star (8/21)

DEC provides new patrol boats
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has added four patrol
boats for environmental and navigation law enforcement operations on the
state's waterways. Source: Capital News 9 (8/21)

Cormorants straining West Sister Island ecosystem
Ohio's sole national wildlife refuge is being besieged by double-breasted
cormorants, a burgeoning bird species that's wrecking the ecosystem with its
corrosive droppings. Source: The Port Clinton News Herald (8/21)

Conference addresses beach water quality
On Aug. 14, a group of city and county employees attended the Northeast
Wisconsin & Lake Michigan Watershed Planning Conference in Green Bay.
Source: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter (8/20)

Monroe Harbor pier plan opposed
A $27 million proposal to add new docks and piers at Monroe Harbor would
turn a jewel of Chicago's lakefront into a cluttered "trailer camp" for
boats, according to advocacy groups. Source: Chicago Sun-Times (8/19)

For links to these stories and more, visit

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Great Lakes Daily News is a collaborative project of the Great Lakes
Information Network ( and the Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (, both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Alt Power Digest group at Yahoo Groups just came across with a great write:


All-Energy News and Discussion



Message: 1
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 14:03:15 -0400
From: Tom Gray
Subject: Good Clip on Germany

Germany Leads the World in Alternative Energy
By JANET L. SAWIN New Internationalist (08-19-03)

Berkeley Daily Planet
Edition Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Clusters of tall white wind turbines spin gracefully atop green hillsides.
Solar photovoltaics (PVs) are integrated into windows and rooftops of
modern homes, factories and office blocks. Even the old renovated seat of
government is fitted with solar panels.

A utopian fancy? No, just Germany today. Remarkable considering that in
1990 Germany had virtually no renewable-energy industry and appeared an
unlikely candidate for it. Utility monopolies, entrenched nuclear and coal
industries and a general conservatism made Germany appear barren ground for
renewable-energy advocates.

Joschen Twele, a wind-energy expert recalls: 'When I started my job in wind
energy [in the 1980s] I thought it had only a chance in remote areas of
developing countries. So I concentrated on Africa.'

Yet by the end of the 1990s, Germany had transformed itself into a
renewable-energy leader. With a fraction of the wind and solar resources of
the U.S.,
Germany now has almost three times as much installed wind
capacity (38 percent of global capacity) and is a world leader in solar
photovoltaics as well.

And it has created a new, multibillion-dollar industry and tens of
thousands of new jobs. The German wind industry now employs more people
than nuclear power (an industry that provides 30 percent of the nation's
electricity) without a commensurate increase in electricity costs

Germany now generates 4.5 per cent of its electricity with the wind and
appears on track to meet government targets of 25 per cent by 2025. The
government also considers solar photovoltaics an option for future
large-scale power generation.

What's more, the government recently pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide
emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, much of this to be
achieved by switching to renewable energy. Not quite the 60 percent many
climate-change experts say is required worldwide, but vastly more
impressive than commitments made thus far under the Kyoto Protocol.

How has Germany done it?

The main obstacles that keep renewables from producing more than a small
share of energy in most of the world are lack of access to the transmission
grid, high up-front costs, lack of information, and biased, inappropriate
and inconsistent government policies.

Germany's dramatic success has been achieved through a combination of
consistent, ambitious policies designed to address these barriers and
create a market for renewable energy. These policies were driven by the
public's rising concerns about global climate change, risks associated with
nuclear power, and a need to reduce dependence on imported fuels.

Most significant has been the grid access and standard pricing law, enacted
in 1991 and inspired by effective Danish policies. Under this law,
renewable energy producers receive above-market payments for power they
feed into the grid and the costs are shared among all electricity consumers
in Germany. These preferential payments for renewables are not considered
subsidies, but means of internalizing the social and environmental costs of
conventional energy and providing compensation for the benefits of renewables.

But some barriers remained. For example, as the number of wind turbines
skyrocketed in some regions, local opposition and lengthy, complex siting
procedures had the effect of stalling the development of new projects. The
government responded by encouraging communities to zone specific areas for
wind energy
--a step that addressed concerns such as noise and aesthetic
impacts and assured prospective turbine owners that they would find sites
for their machines

To address the start-up costs barrier, the German government has offered
long-term, low-interest loans and income tax credits to projects and
equipment that meet specified standards.

These initiatives have drawn billions of dollars to the renewable energy
industry, while technology standards have reduced risk and created
confidence by keeping out substandard machinery. The government has also
promoted awareness of renewable technologies and available subsidies
through publications and training programs.

Such rock-solid policies ended uncertainties about whether producers could
sell their electricity into the grid and at what price. They also provided
investor confidence--attracting investment money and making it easier for
even small renewable power producers to obtain bank loans. Germans from
diverse backgrounds and income levels have been able to invest in renewable
energy projects, leading to a surge in installed capacity and associated
jobs, and reinforcing political support.

Increased investment has also driven improvements in technology, advanced
learning and experience, and produced economies of scale resulting in
dramatic cost reductions. Between 1990 and 2000 the average cost of
manufacturing wind turbines in Germany fell by 43 percent. Between 1992 and
2001, PV capacity experienced an average annual growth rate of nearly 49
percent. German PV manufacturers plan to expand their facilities
significantly over the coming years to meet rapidly rising demand, a step
that will further reduce costs and increase employment

Germany has demonstrated not only that it is possible for renewable energy
increasingly to meet the energy needs of industrialized society but also
that the transition to a more sustainable energy future can happen rapidly
with political will and the right policies. To begin with, policies must be
consistent and long-term. On-and-off policies in the US have created market
cycles of boom and bust, making it difficult to develop strong domestic
industries. As a result, the U.S. is the only country where total
wind-generating capacity has actually declined in some years

Market creation must also be prioritized. Germany began funding research
and development of renewable energy in the 1970s but saw little commercial
development until market incentives were enacted two decades later. Today
at least 300 companies are involved in supplying solar panels. Last year
Germans installed more than 2,000 new wind projects, all of them feeding
into the grid.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 Germans own shares in
wind energy projects, while many own shares in solar PV and other renewable
projects as well.

The issue of who owns the production and distribution of electricity is
highly significant. When a nation's electric system is centralized and
utility-owned, power is concentrated in the hands of a few, both literally
and politically. In the U.S., for example, some of the most politically
powerful voices are those of the various energy-related industries. But
when almost anyone can be an energy producer, as in Germany, the public can
play a greater role in decision making, creating a more democratic society.

Renewables now generate eight percent of Germany's electricity and the
country has nearly two-fifths of the world's wind capacity. But the share
of total wind capacity owned by large companies is also rising, as the
sizes of machines and projects--and thus costs--increase.

The advantages of shifting away from conventional energy and towards
greater reliance on renewables are numerous and enormous: climate
stability, air quality, health, job creation, political and economic
security, to name but a few. Renewable energy also offers models for
diverse and democratic ways of producing, buying and selling power. Yet
change is never easy and there are strong forces globally--including
politically powerful industries--that wish to maintain the status quo.

While resistance to change is inevitable, the world cannot afford to be
held back by those who are wedded to energy systems of the past.

Janet L Sawin is an energy and climate change writer and researcher based
at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington DC.
Now this one, also from ENN, really gets my goat, no pun intended. These clowns want to end farm susidies by the federal government when most U.S. farmers have already been driven out of business. I'm not talking the huge corporate farms, I'm talking the small family farmer. I think we should only give subsidies to farmers that own the land they farm, not to corporations, but that's another issue. What surprises me is that U.S. farmers aren't agressively pursuing wind energy as the new cash crop in addition to traditional agriculture. Both have a tendency to coexist extremely well together. Where the heck are the AG COOPs on this? It used to be American farmers were some of the most innovative people on the planet at brilliant capitalism. The individual ones that have survived the "corping" of the American farm sure should be. All the same, we're already a country at war on two fronts plus shadow wars and we can barely manufacture or own washing machines, ahhh, duuuhhh, what happens if we P.O. the little country that makes our bullets for fifteen cents an hour? So now we're going to export our food production too? This is good for national security? This is not some very rotten third-world BALOGNA? Enough soap boxing, though. Seriously, U.S. farm cooperatives and individual farmers would be very well advised to get solidly behind wind and other renewables, especially in light of stories like this one...

Friday, August 22, 2003
By Reuters

WASHINGTON — The United States has a moral duty to slash its farm subsidies even if developing countries do not reciprocate by opening their markets to more U.S. farm goods, officials with a leading private sector development group said Thursday.

The United States is under pressure in world trade talks to reduce the billions of dollars in subsidies it pays to farmers each year. Leading U.S. farm groups have vowed to fight such an agreement unless developing countries reduce their tariffs to allow in more agricultural imports.

Gawain Kripke, a senior policy advisor with Oxfam, said the United States had a greater responsibly to eliminate subsidies that depress prices for farmers in poor countries and make it harder for them to compete for export sales.

"It doesn't work to demand that developing countries roll over on their agricultural sectors in order for the U.S. to reduce its subsidies," said Kripke. "The U.S. is sinning — and so is the E.U. (European Union) — by subsidizing and dumping products on poor countries."

Also, in an era of $400 billion U.S. budget deficits, farm subsidies "may be a luxury we can't afford," he said.

U.S. farmers are expected to receive about $19 billion in...(Read on in: US has responsiblity to cut farm subsidies, says Oxfam
Also from ENN, it's hot rock candy Down Under...

Friday, August 22, 2003
By Marie McInerney, Reuters

INNIMINCKA, Australia — Australia's unforgiving outback swelters for months every year, but the heat of ancient rocks beneath the red sands at towns such as Innimincka is about to be tapped as a source of renewable energy.

Engineers are preparing to trigger a range of micro-earthquakes in the Earth's crust just outside Innimincka to test whether the rocks can unleash green energy at volumes equivalent to about half of Kuwait's oil reserves.

If they're successful and a feasible operation can be mounted, Innimincka's Habañero Well — named after the world's hottest chilli variety — could deliver a major new renewable energy source, at least competitive with natural gas.

"You might not feel it," Bertus de Graaf told his visitors as they swatted flies and stumbled over gibber rocks at the remote site 1,050 km (650 miles) north of Adelaide. "But you are all standing above the hottest spot in the Earth's upper crust outside volcanic centers," he said.

De Graaf is managing director of Geodynamics Ltd, which is drilling Australia's deepest well 4.9 km (3.0 miles) into basement granite to tap into hot rock temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius (570 degrees Fahrenheit).

"The geothermal resource below is so large that it can potentially generate massive amounts of zero (greenhouse) emission energy," he said. "We have here potentially a 'gusher' in hot rock geothermal energy," said de Graaf.

Tapping Natural Heat

It all may sound a little like Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, but hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal energy is one of the great hopes of renewable energy. As Geodynamics says, generating electricity from the Earth's heat isn't new. Countries such as Italy, Iceland, New Zealand, and Japan have been...(Read on in: Outback Australia sizzles with hidden power)
From ENN, a new article on the Nantucket Sound Winders and Whiners:

Friday, August 22, 2003
By Associated Press

BOSTON — Opponents of a proposed power-generating wind farm in Nantucket Sound were dealt a legal setback when a federal judge ruled that the state had no authority to stop construction of a test tower currently operating there.

Opponents of the proposed $700 million wind farm had filed suit against the developers, claiming the company needed a state permit to build the 197-foot tower, which measures environmental conditions.

The tower, which has been operational since the spring, was built...(Read on in: Judge says state had no authority to prevent test tower of Nantucket wind farm)
Amazing grace...

By Emmanuel Koro


Water harvesting has enabled women to grow vegetables in their backyards

A water harvesting method currently being applied in rural Zimbabwe’s naturally dry Masvingo Province, south of the country, has seen small-scale commercial farmers such as the Shagashe Farmers Club (SHAFAC) able to enjoy better harvests despite the persistent drought.

The method is simple. It involves digging pits that are one meter deep and a meter wide.

How is the Water Harvested?

Basically, the pits fill up from rainfall and retain the water, which soaks slowly into the ground depending on the soil type. The water also drains slowly from the water harvesting pits as the low-lying parts of the crop field run out of moisture.

Mr. Osmond Mugweni, a Sustainable Agriculture Consultant with the UNDP Africa 2000 Plus Network is proud of this technique, which he believes can solve the country’s drought-threatened food security if promoted nationally. He said water harvesting filtration pits “help to raise water tables” due to the water harvesting pits’ water retention capacities. The capillary activity draws water from the water table to the surface.

“This has a double effect,” said Mr. Mugweni. “The wet conditions are good for the crops and also promote the growth of a variety of grass species and herbs, enhancing conservation.” (Read on, it's wonderful: Zimbabwean Farmers Bag the Clouds