Tag: long emergency

Marrying Stranded Wind and Freight Rail Electrification

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.

Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Anyone Get a Bike for Christmas?

Anyone get a Bike for Christmas?

Could it do this?

This is a Transport Cycling Open Thread: if you didn’t get a bike for Christmas, and don’t cycle in the winter, share what your first cycle trip of the new year is likely to be.

LCE: The Hydrogen Economy vs The Sustainable Poutpourri

This a Lazy Comment Essay, where I copy a comment from elsewhere as a short essay.

This comment is in response to a comment thread in my own diary on the Big Orange (posted here first), The Next Economic Revolution: Economic Growth and the Steady State.

paul2port says:

Regarding energy

Wood, followed by coal, followed by oil followed by….

Energy specialists seem to think the next sustainable energy economy will be — hydrogen.

There needs to be a lot of innovation and breaking down of the old established system to replace oil.

It can’t come too soon, as far as I am concerned. …

And then after a round where I demur and raise some issues and he answers and I demur again, says:

We’re not arguing here

The elegant solution might involve that tricky, tiny atom, hydrogen. Let’s put aside the political aspects your quite correctly identify, just for a moment. It might work someday.

In the meantime I’m all in favor of some inelegant kludge. If solar photovoltaics come down in price there will be a point where you won’t care if they’re only 20-30% efficient. There’s so much solar energy hitting the earth that they’ll simply be everywhere.

My Lazy Comment Essay, after the Fold.

LCE: Market vs. Government, vs. Government and Market Institutions

The is a Lazy Comment Essay, where I copy a comment from elsewhere as a short essay.

This comment is in response to a comment thread in the diary on the European Tribune – LQD : Towards an Institutionalist Political Economy – a Manifesto.

ChrisCook says:

Re: LQD : Metaphysics

I believe that the problem is Metaphysical. The assumptions that underpin conventional Economics bear no relation to reality as we know it.

They are distorted in a way designed to suit the beneficiaries of the value flows that result from the surreal financial structures that comprise our current Economy.

linca replies:

Re: LQD : Metaphysics

I think one of their point is that not only money is important, and that economics, as a social science, needs to look beyond money, as it is not the only means of social exchange – that is basically the basic axiom of current economics, that are way to much based on econometrics.

The vote, the christmas gift, the exchange of drink rounds, are also important means of economical interaction, but are denied by the modern economics influenced thinking.

My Lazy Comment Essay, after the Fold.