Germany’s Wind Mills Powered by Diesel Generators… For Now

Stress on the High Seas: Germany’s Wind Power Revolution in the Doldrums – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

These are lessons that we must learn: The two vital elements in renewable energy (RE) must proceed simultaneously: These are the generating equipment itself and the required grid infrastructure.

Some of the the windmill parks in the North Sea and Baltic are completed but the underground cables and transformer stations on land are not. The almost precipitous start of the program failed to coordinate the two indispensable elements: The generating units and their grid.

So the mills are being powered by diesel generators, covering the adjacent sea with diesel fumes. The reason is as simple as it is surprising. The wind farm operator, German utility RWE, has to keep the sensitive equipment — the drives, hubs and rotor blades — in constant motion, and for now that requires diesel-powered generators. Because although the wind farm will soon be ready to generate electricity, it won’t be able to start doing so because of a lack of infrastructure to transport the electricity to the mainland and feed it into the grid. The necessary connections and cabling won’t be ready on time and the delay could last up to a year.

What happened in Germany must not happen here. The development of RE in New Jersey must occur with the precision of clock work. Everything has to be synchronized so all the components are set to put together at the right time.

Despite all the lip service of the Christie administration toward RE, the fact is that the administration has been very shy in its approach. It looks more like a PR effort and not a genuine attempt to develop this vital industry of the future.

We can not expect that the private sector will jump into a risky enterprise alone. R&D almost inevitably require government and private sector cooperation. And the role of government is most effective in making capitalization cheaper.

The state government offers tax credits (REC) through the BPU. But REC do not balance out the risks for investors and therefore the latter have to pay a premium when borrowing capital. These high borrowing costs make the RE more expensive for consumers.

One of the main private companies involved with RE in New Jersey recently abandoned the state for the reasons mentioned just above.

The right approach is to offer investors Renewable Energy Payments, REP, which would lower the cost of the energy produced to the lowest level.   REP include several elements, not only protecting the investors (which again, lower their capitalization cost and therefore the price of their product) but also protecting the existing conventional utility companies and the public.

That is why the partnership of public and private sectors is essential in the development of this industry and why I see that the State of New Jersey has the responsibility of preventing the repeat of the German errors.

With this article, I close 2011 and I wish all a Very Happy New Year. Good Luck.

New Jersey Could Follow Germany’s Drive for Renewable Energy on this Side of the Atlantic

All Eyes On German Renewable Energy Efforts.

After the Fukushima meltdown in March 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would decommission all its nuclear power plants and aim to rely primarily on renewable sources of energy. Germany has lots of coal but no oil.

The eyes of the world are on Germany today; and mine too. Because New Jersey, with it long coastline and relatively shallow  depths offshore could be an ideal setting to build an entire new industry of energy for the future. For a relatively long term, the green energy industry of New Jersey would have to be partnership of both public and private concerns because, as of today, at least nominally, green energy can be a bit more expensive to generate than electricity generated with conventional fossil fuels or nuclear.

But of course we are not counting the nuclear waste, the CO2 and other emissions, their effect on healthcare costs, and that green energy higher price tag is mostly caused by being high-maintenance. That means jobs with very good wages for New Jersey. Most industry analysis are skewed in favor of the nuclear and fossil fuels plants. But a comprehensive view of energy generation and its by-products would show that, in both mid and long term, renewable forms of energy generation are more economical. And they are sustainable.

Germany has already created 370,000 good paying jobs and that is just the beginning.

As we pursue the revitalization of the industrial sector in New Jersey, I foresee an important niche for renewable energy.

New Jersey Beware. The Natural Gas Act Allows Land Expropriation – Capitalist Style

In Louisiana, Twist in Fight Over Texaco Drilling Lease – NYTimes.com.

Under the Natural Gas Act, a corporation which is  a lessee of private land can sue the lessor to take over such land under the mantle of national security. New Jersey landowners beware: This can happen here too.

If elected governor of New Jersey in 2013, no hydraulic fracturing will be allowed in the  state nor will the state government allow any off-shore oil drilling.

Police Destroys Car In Futile Search for Marijuana

In futile car search for drugs, Pompton Lakes police inflict $12K worth of damage | NJ.com.

It is not the police fault. Those are their orders. I have in my political program the legalization of marijuana if I am elected governor in 2013. That may encounter problems with the federal government and federal law would supersede state laws to a extent. That means we will not have 7-11’s and Quick Check’s selling marijuana cigarettes nor will the cultivation be legal- except for medical uses.

However, I still believe we can decriminalize marijuana at the state level so the police of New Jersey would cease to persecute the use and movement of marijuana within the state borders. Federal authorities however could still arrest marijuana users and dealers within New Jersey.

I would also look into pardoning a number of non-violent marijuana-involved prisoners in state custody at the earliest opportunity.

We would still have a number of restrictions regarding use and employment, minors, etc., similarly to those that apply to alcohol and tobacco.

This is work in progress and priority 2.

NJ.com refused to post this comment in their page

2011 Ends in Flux

BBC News – Ireland faces new wave of emigration.

It is not only the Irish. There are also many young Spaniards, French, Portuguese, Italians, emigrating to Germany Australia, Canada, and the U.S. But the euro is dropping and that may mean that European exports will become cheaper. Italy’s bonds are selling at lower interest. There could be light at the end of the long eurozone tunnel.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/unemployment_claims_rise_after.html

Meanwhile, the U. S. economy continues to sputter. It is moving but painfully so.

Employment is a function of supply, which in turn is a function of demand, which in turn is a function of disposable, income, wages, wealth shaped in a reasonably low and widely-based  pyramid. Does anybody understand that concatenated relationship? It is of no use to have cheap credit if there is no demand.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/29/opinion/nasr-iran-oil-hormuz/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Another War?

Who cares if Iran develops a nuclear weapon? That is why we have a nuclear deterrent, isn’t it? North Korea and Pakistan both have nukes and the chances of terrorists getting their hands on one bomb are at least as great in those countries as it would be in Iran.

Is it in the interests of the United States to enter another conflict? My answer is a resoundingly no and I urge the president not to sign the law black-listing the Iranian Central Bank. The ICB sells the Iranian oil. The law would essentially be  an embargo against Iran. President Obama has said he does not like the law but will sign it anyway… Why is he doing it then for?

Every war-monger I have seen would not be doing the fighting.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/12/20111226145144638282.html

China is looking north. China does not invade anybody for oil. They simply buy it.

China is the largest trading nation and has the largest merchant fleet in the world.  While we develop the new super aircraft carrier, the Ford Class, they build the largest container ships.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/2011122944024838879.html

The Arab Spring stretches into Winter:

Fighting continues in Syria, Egypt, Yemen. Tunisia and Libya sound like success stories although un islamist party won the first elections in Tunisia – not a surprise considering they were the spearhead of the resistance for many years.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/12/during_radio_appearances_chris.html

And poor New Jersey, ends the year with the announcement – by the governor himself – that 2012 will be the year of education. It is ironic, Fidel Castro, a master of demagoguery, used to dedicate the years to some grand enterprise too, at least during the first decade of the revolution. Yes, we had an education year in Cuba too and if I remember well it was 1961.

So for New Jersey, 2012 will be the year of the dismantling of public education while the root factors in the failing districts are ignored. Why are they ignored? Because they are ideological taboos for this governor.

To educate more and better, we must have the children in an education-auspicious-setting for longer time; much longer time.

In the meantime, out New Jersey economy stumbles along at a languid pace, and a dentist in central New Jersey measures our decay in the teeth of his patients:

http://www.app.com/article/20111228/NJNEWS/312280045/Manalapan-dentists-offer-day-of-free-care?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cs

We are not only losing our jobs and our homes; we are losing our teeth too.

N.J. Pension Funds Suffer as Markets Fluctuate, New Jersey Does Not Contribute

U.S. State, Local Pensions Drop 8.5 Percent – Bloomberg.

Despite the pension reform of the summer,  the Christie administration has followed the irresponsible steps of its predecessors and refused to fully fund the pension systems.

The deficit will negatively accrue and become a greater burden to New Jersey in the coming years. By 2018, the shortfall could reach the pre-reform figures.

Christie is just kicking the can down the road. Increasing un-met obligations of New Jersey could lead to further downgrades by the rating agencies. That in turn would increase the cost of borrowing, both short and long terms.

Frommer’s Bashes Port Authority of NY and NJ

Newark Airport Terminal B – The 10 Worst Airport Terminals Slideshow at Frommer’s.

” All three major New York City airports are on this list, in large part because they’re run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a hideously mismanaged money sink that does a poor job of responding to air travelers’ needs.”

That is Frommer’s speaking – the famous travel guide – not me.

Of the 3, Newark is the worst. Of course the two complicit governments, NY and NJ, have a lot to answer for.