Re: Katrinas Lesson in Energy
- Neal Elliott (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)
said: "What Katrina has done is to snap the already tight market.
The only viable option left for consumers is to reduce demand."
Robert Wilder (president of WilderShares which maintains WilderHill Clean Energy Index of clean energy stocks) said: "Don't put all of our eggs in the fossil fuel basket,".
Most of the article is on what Robert Wilder says (newer and more technology). I think what Neal Elliott said (reducing energy demand) is more important to do - right now. The techology will or may come later, as market conditions allow.
-- "janson2997" <janson1997@...> wrote:
Katrina's Lesson in Energy
Don't put all your eggs in one `fossil fuel basket.'
October 10, 2005 Issue
In addition to the ruins they left behind, Katrina's 150-mph winds
blew the cover off a long-masked problem bedeviling the U.S.' energy
infrastructure. Simply put, energy demand has exceeded the market's
ability to deliver power.
"The surging consumer demand has left the U.S. in an energy
straightjacket with no supply options to switch to," says Neal
Elliott, industrial program director at the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy. "What Katrina has done is to snap the
already tight market. The only viable option left for consumers is to
`The surging consumer demand has left the U.S. in an energy
straightjacket. What Katrina has done is to snap the already tight
market.'�Neal Elliott, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient
For those who have been preaching the gospel of diversity, Katrina
was clear evidence that the U.S. must stop leaning so heavily on
fossil fuels. Aside from power lines and power plants, the storm shut
down oil pipelines and refineries, wiping out 12 percent of the U.S.
refining capacity. At the pump, gasoline prices soared past $3.50 per
gallon�still cheap by European standards, but jarring to U.S.
consumers. "The lesson is, `Don't put all of our eggs in the fossil
fuel basket,'" says Robert Wilder, president of WilderShares, which
maintains the WilderHill Clean Energy Index of clean energy stocks.
Oil refineries are producing full bore and still failing to meet
demand, says Mr. Wilder. But while some are calling for more
refineries, Mr. Wilder is among those who believe the answer is clean
energy such as solar power, wind power, and fuel cells. Like a good
stock portfolio, diversity could be the key to a stable energy
portfolio, which could give both the power grid and the nation's fuel
delivery system a better chance of surviving the next calamity to hit
a major American city.
A number of companies are hoping that the lure of independent energy
will make customers see the light. Large companies include Sharp, BP
Solar, Kyocera, and Shell Solar. Startups HelioVolt, Energy
Innovations, Nanosolar, and Miasol� raised venture funding this
summer, and SunPower in August announced it would raise $115 million
in an initial public offering. Other promising solar companies
include Red Herring 100 companies Konarka, Nanosys, Nanosolar, and
Still, solar power systems are not 100 percent storm-proof, and would
only be as secure as your roof. But many roofs survived intact, and
when the sun came out after the storm, those houses would have had
power, says Mr. Wilder. Unlike oil, solar power is decentralized, so
solar-powered homes in unaffected areas are not paying higher prices
now. "Renewable energy in general would make us less dependent on
oil, and Katrina took out oil," says Paul Maycock, president of PV
Energy Systems. "The national impact could be lessened by a larger
percentage of the U.S. electricity coming from photo-voltaic [solar
Other energy-related technologies that could have helped the Gulf
Coast are available today, but are not yet widely used. For instance,
grid-monitoring systems could help expedite repairs by pinpointing
problems. Companies like State Estimator, EleQuant, and Electro
Industries sell equipment that helps monitor the electric grid, a
piece of America's infrastructure that teeters on the brink of
disaster even when hurricanes are not bearing down on the coast
(see "Patching the Power Grid").