- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
In general, industry tries to do projects in a most economically responsible way. From their perspective, if a job costs too much, the end product will cost too much and they will not be able to sell to the public. Cost is almost always the driving force. I have never been given an assignment with the instructions, “do whatever it takes,” included. The closest I ever came was a project I was sent to do with the instructions, “don’t come back until you are satisfied with the plan.”
Today, we are in a position where the Obama administration has stated that renewable energy development is a priority. However, forcing the issue is causing some conflict for both sides as economic interests and environmental concerns are impacted.
The current head of the Bureau of Land Management is Ned Farquhar. Just a few months ago, he was working for the Natural Resources Defense Council. What happens when a wind farm need to be located in a certain location but to construct the line towers would require them to skirt along nesting grounds for some bird species? If the costs of relocating the power lines are too high, the project is a bust. We need the power and we need to be able to afford it.
Here is something else to consider. We know that coal and nuclear energy can provide what is needed and how much space it will require. According to scientists at the Nature Conservancy, it will require 300 times more land to produce the necessary power using renewable energy as it would with conventional production. By 2030, it will require an additional 79,537 square miles of land to meet our needs. By spreading it out, we will also need additional power lines to crisscross the landscape.
I expect that there will be a lot of money spent on study after study. I wonder if we will actually get any real work done?