Monday, September 21, 2009

From Energy Dependent to Self-Sufficient



Well dear readers.... its been interesting and the kind of preliminary probing discussion you've engaged in has been stimulating. It's the way the democratic process most effectively begins to weave its magic of thoughtful consideration, analysis, discussion (and sometimes debate and informed civil discourse) on its way to creative community decision-making in healthy and economically competitive social environments.

Now, we need to move on to the next stage...... the organization of data, analysis of options and development of strategies to support constructive action. Here are the bare bones draft specifications for analysis of our energy options and development of a Strategic Plan for Energy self-sufficiency in Shelburne County. These would of course have to be fleshed out and have timelines added to them but I believe they give us a start.


Scope of Work

Reporting to the community group charged with the conduct of this development Strategy the team will assume responsibility for the gathering of information about energy needs and technology options and opportunities in Shelburne County, risk associated with various options, costs, benefits, financing options potential spin-off benefits, possible associations and structures for managing the development and long-term management of energy facilities in Shelburne County.

Terms of Reference

More specifically, the Team will:

a. gather information about present energy consumption in the County and develop a low-growth, medium growth and high growth projection of energy needs within the County (highlighting the projected needs of the towns of  Lockeport, Shelburne and Clarks Harbour and the Municipalities of Barrington and Shelburne) over the next 25 years;

b. gather information about technology options and potential opportunities for hydro, wind, wave, tidal, biomass and geo-thermal;

c.  identify specific projects dealing with each of the potential energy options identified above;

d. undertake SWOT Analysis of each of the options identified and reviewed above;

e. complete preliminary cost/benefit analysis of the options being considered with the attendant sensitivity analysis of the three most important variables for each;

f. identify potential financing options for each possible energy development and detail the strengths, weaknesses and risks associated with each;

g. identify, describe, qualify and quantify potential industrial and other spin-off benefits associated with possible implementation of each option; and

h. propose potential organizational and corporate structure options for management of the development and management of the strategy and resulting facilities.

And so we start the process of organized consideration of Shelburne County's Energy Options given our location and other natural and demographic attributes.

As some of us/you embark on that journey I want to talk to you about other journies we might take associated with our location on the South Shore of Nova Scotia..... BUT THAT'S FOR NEXT TIME!

In the meantime, vote on the new survey question, submit your questions and comments, suggestions and criticisms and identify what you think we should do next to become energy self-sufficient and.... who should do it... private citizens.... municipal governments on their own or as Team Shelburne, our new RDA.... old RDA?


Anonymous said...

Who should create the energy plan, and will we break the bank employing this proposed plan - unknowns for now. How many remember the '70s oil crisis - we still haven't mastered energy efficiency and conservation. I'd be interested in reading an expert's input on hydro power from the old Roseway dam site and the possibility of adding the Clyde as a source of reliable and cheaper power. ~S.F.

Anonymous said...

Clare, Nova Scotia did an energy study. I don't think the study changed the way they use or make energy. It would be a shame to study something and never do anything.
Better insulation for our homes could be promoted, and that would save energy.
The Roseway dam is a good place to study ?
For sure.
I still like wind turbines, if only we could find out how long it takes to break even. From someone with personal knowledge. NSP put up a wind turbine in Clare. Someone should ask them. How long does it take to break even ?
Jim Kimbrell

Anonymous said...

O.K. so we went along with the glass is half full idea now only to find out it was electric Kool-Aid!

One overriding fact will emerge; the energy demand for all of Shelburne county, town and municipalities over the next twenty five years will decrease given the present trend. The population as well as the industrial base is shrinking, full stop. (fix this first) In addition any new construction is getting as efficient as the present technology and cost efficiency is allowing. The cost of wind power has been exploited, it is dam expensive and the ROI in a growing and demanding market place is in excess of the lifespan of the infrastructure. Wave generators are yet to be fully developed not to mention the environmental impact of what is left of the fishery if a sizeable and feasible unit were to be put in place. Thermal, well check out British Columbia and believe it or not Kenya (the byproduct of supplying water to the huge flower industry there …which is a water hog, is wells, some as deep as 3 kms and huge amounts of steam and hot water) as far as I know and I will be the first to admit, I know very little on this, is that N.S. because of its geology is not a prime candidate…go ask Dr. Rock. The bottom line is any of these options will cost what, 20, 30, 40 or 50 million? A project at the end of the road servicing a population base of what 10,000 (again I don’t know the population of all of Shelburne County). One thing the geology of Shelburne County is good for without a dought is underground oil storage which could be used for servicing the refineries both in Canada and the U.S. Eastern seaboard.

Check out the obvious as per previous post before going on a wild goose chase that is going to cost a mint and has the chance of success of the Georges Bank team.

Sip the Kool-Aid, there is lots of it around and plenty for everyone, no need to gulp.

Anonymous said...

What subsidies do wind farm investors and NS Power expect from government and hence the taxpayer?

"Industrial wind power is not a viable economic alternative to other energy conservation options. Take the Danish experience:
a. Danish electricity generation is the highest in Europe.
b. Niels Gram of the Danish Fed. of Industries says, windmills are a mistake and make no sense.
b. Aase Madsen, Chair of Economic Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it a terribly expensive disaster."
"It requires 50% more coal generated electricity to cover wind powers unpredictability." - Michael J. Trebilcock, Prof. Law and Economics, UofT, Toronto Post, 8 Apr 09.

- Dr. John Etherington's "The Wind Farm Scam" to be released 30 Sep 09
- Dr. Nina Piermont released her case study on Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS)
Jim, I can't find recent info from either Clare (Comeau Seafoods) and Pubnico Pt. wind turbines. I wonder why? ~S.F.

Anonymous said...

Simply put - "If this was a green grocery scam, the customer would understand, ninety-five per cent of customers want King Edwards potatoes and 5 per cent want Romano, so mix them up 19 to one and sell the mixture to all customers. Tell the Romano fans that as many were put in the box as have been sold...This is what happens...we all pay extra on our bill for the percentage of wind power which went into the supply end of the cable." - J. Etherington

Anonymous said...

Are we bogging our councils and staff down with more paperwork? Revisiting what has already been accomplished through past municipal energy reports, plans, and meetings will prove we haven't accomplished much in energy conservation during the last two decades. Bureaucracy is stifling small business and the ongoing creation of paper-pushers within all levels of government won't help our local work force - we have SWSDA and its enabler Economic and Rural Development to prove that.
Kudos to The Coast Guard for finally proving they are capable of timely reporting on local government issues. Keep up the good work Mr. Bennett and staff. Thanks to Mr. Cayer for printing the many sides of a topic, and for sharing his sage advice on development issues.

Anonymous said...

Are we discussing the end of a losing proposition but won't or don't want to face the facts?

Anonymous said...

self sufficient,,,that might be impossible, Nova Scotia Power would have a lot to say about that.

You cannot just mess with their poles and wires.

You cannot just put up wind mills without their permission.

There would be no sense in studing self sufficiency without getting permission first. is about a town that is self sufficient

Jim K

Anonymous said...

Underground storage for offshore oil- remembering the kerfuffle during the El Paso saga this would really stir them up wouldn't it?What's the chance they'd go along with thorium mining?Yeah, I thought so...

Anonymous said...

Not to break your turbine bubble, but did you see that Rock Port still relies on the grid to provide constant power when they experience days of no wind. Allowing for maintenance, operating problems (Murphy's Law) and calm days, they can't cut the apron strings and their power is more expensive for it. The U. of Missouri cry of 100% sounds good but isn't true. It's just more of Etherington's tale of Romano and King Edwards apples, where the consumer may feel a bit better paying more for their power. ~S.F.

Anonymous said...

I thought so as well, and then I actually thought. I didn’t know too much about the Texas disaster, so I checked it out, not a nice thing but to be honest there are so many of these accidents, far, far too many. These accidents of misfortune taking millions of lives over the years not to mention the toll on the environment keep happening. Then I thought about safety, seems that there are hundreds of thousands of people die each year in cars, they still make them; each year there seems to be an airline disaster, they still make aircraft and many thousands are still flying; they still build ships as well. The issue is things we need are usually improved on an ongoing basis. Globally there are many areas and countries who are now getting into underground oil storage, one only has to Google (underground oil storage) to find that China, India, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Norway, Singapore and even England to mention the obvious ones, have and now are now doing it for many reasons, but best you read it..didn’t know anything about Thorium mining either but after a little research, agree that one is a very long shot. Then the vision!; dozens of Cruise ships lined up in the harbor waiting to get docking space so the passengers could leisurely make their way along the beautiful tree lined streets, buying items made from washed up seaweed and recycled tree bark, the town’s people rejoiced in their good fortune, the coffers and treasury were filled to the brim, some overflowing. What do you think the chances of that are? Yeah, I thought so…….
Do the search, expand the thought process and think just a tiny bit bigger….

Anonymous said...

I admit wind is not ''the answer'' I do like the sound of word like "break even" "free as the wind"

The grid need improvement. Is the Nova Scotia grid connected to the rest of Canada? If not what would happen if the big steam plant had a big failure ?

"Smart grid technology" is a new word these days, that the pros understand and the political people probally do not.


Anonymous said...

Our small councils are jumping on the sustainable energy bandwagon without acknowledging Danish, British and German gov. failures. Here we are in little ole Shelb. Co. with a negative carbon footprint, high unemployment, and we're worried about sustainable energy? Where are our priorities - encouraging industrial development, or receiving a pseudo-biosphere status for seasonal eco-tourism? Let NS Power and the NDippers solve the energy debate with smart coal fired plants and nuclear energy, and demand that our municipal councils devote their time in developing a sustainable business climate. ~S.F.

Anonymous said...

"I now find many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology...and many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism and downright eco-facism." Patrick Moore, PhD in Ecology, ex-Greenpeace founder, current Green Spirit founder. He protested against nuclear plants in the 70's, but now believes they're the future in a clean, safe energy source. Goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks!~S.F.

Anonymous said...

The Coast Guard has come out of its long sleep! If you're searching for more info on Lockeport's newly adopted guru go to: Storm Cunningham. ~S.F.

Anonymous said...

There can be new smart GRID technology that allows one area to share power/electricity with other areas. If the wind is not blowing here, it might be blowing somewhere else. Their over-production of electricity would go to the area where the wind is not blowing. They need to get away from coal and the carbon based electricity production. They need smarter grid technology.
The wind is blowing really good today, along the coast and in Ohio.
Jim K.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

11:37 Ralph's column shows that many are questioning NS Power's drive on windfarms and the tune to which the NDP are going to subsidize their new playgrounds at the expense of the consumers/taxpayers. The business section reported on the problems the companies are having funding the three large windfarms that are currently on their drawing boards - Digby Neck included. It doesn't take an MBA to realize it will be the citizens of the province who will be paying for this folly for years to come. - S. Fry