Welcome to the next in my (sporadic) Long Emergency series of essays.
This one is a real cheap rip-off essay, in which I simply rip out the short policy proposal wrapped up in a Daily Kos candidate diary, and present it without the candidate diary parts.
Here is a version of the national Wind Resource map:
It should, I hope, be clear that much of the best resource is in areas that do not have the highest electricity consumption. And at the same time, that is a lot of the terrain that the transcontinental freight rail must traverse to get where its going. And, at the same time, we desperately need to get the main freight rail trunk lines electrified, by hook or by crook. Ergo, I got a grossly oversimplified policy proposal to present.
- The Federal Government invests in publicly owned infrastructure to electrify the main railroad
- In return, the owners of the right of way cede use of the right of way above the part that they need to public use, together with access to the ground level right of way for support structures
- That right of way is used to establish long distance High Voltage DC trunk lines to bring sustainable energy from the places that have it to places the need it
- In areas where there is a commercial wind resource, the usage rights above those trunk lines are available to be leased out for wind farm operators, with the lease payments rolled back into the funding for the program
Some answers to some challenges to the proposal, after the fold.