US Energy Policy: Building the Smart Energy Grid

smart energy grid

In order to maximize the efficiency of power distribution in the United States we need to build a high technology smart energy grid and the creation of this grid should be part of our the US energy policy. There are so many advantages to building this new smart grid, that I would recommend some kind of a catalyst for implementing the specification phase of this project as soon as possible.

One of the most important reasons for building such a grid is to secure our electrical grid form foreign attack and domestic terrorism. The current grid is vulnerable to both physical and cyber attacks. If an enemy, could disrupt the energy output from a few key power generating facilities in a coordinated and timed attack, they could initiate a rolling black out that could bring down large sectors of our electrical grid. The smart grid would prevent this possibility in the same way that that DARPA net minimized the threat of losing defense communications during a potential attack on our country. This is accomplished by intelligent switching stations, that can reroute power, in real time, to prevent rolling black outs if and when part of the grid were to crash. Using the same methodology, power transmission could be stabilized and routed to critical facilities during an emergency.

The second major reason and advantage for building the smart energy grid is that the smart grid can save a great amount of energy cost by minimizing the need and usage of peak time power generation facilities. Prolonged  heat waves, for example, can result in an excessive power demands from the overheated  portions of the country. In a case like this, the unexpected demand for air conditioning would create a peak demand situation where grid power would have to be supplemented by peek power generation facilities. The smart grid reduces the need for peak power by routing power, in real time, from locations  where the energy demand is less then the their normal everyday power requirements. The smart grid would also allow for the buying, borrowing, selling or lending  energy with our friends such as Canada to help accommodate  energy demand fluctuations. The overall result would be less energy generated and fewer peak power stations for any given energy demand requirement.

My third reason for recommending the smart grid is the acceleration of green energy development. This concept would allow the intelligent advancement of  of alternative energy development and implementation without the need of forcing these new technologies onto the energy marketplace. The smart grid would have the potential to allow private sector and consumer energy users to sell power back to the grid in real time. The energy user would install a smart grid certified device at their location that would hook up to their computer (or dedicated smart user interface ) and their electrical system. This interface would allow electricity users to negotiate an arrangement for selling surplus power to the grid. Incentives to energy users might be used to encourage the purchase of clean renewable energy generation hardware that would be connected to the  smart grid. I am going to further develop this concept of advancing clean energy technology through a smart grid interface in my upcoming articles on alternative energy.

In conclusion, the design and implementation of a smart energy grid would advance the economy of energy distribution by improving efficiency, integration and security within our nations energy operations.

Post Election Analysis (Short Version)

Democratic Socialists of AmericaIn the November 2012 presidential election, I believe the people of the United States made a choice to move away from our founding principles and personal liberty and move towards collectivism in a way similar to the European socialist nations. I also believe the voters, unknowingly, moved us closer to globalism, where our leaders are slowly but steadily surrendering bits of our sovereignty to world organizations like the United Nations.

The current political environment will lend to a rapid expansion of government that will increase our debt, raise our taxes and continue to squeeze our free market economy. It is the ever expanding size of government that is the core threat to our way of life. The founders were very careful to give the federal government a limited role because they knew the risks of a government expanding out of control. Such is the case now. How can anyone look at the National debt at 16 trillion and climbing, demand for more revenue in the form of higher taxes and the massive expansion of government programs, and not believe that our federal government is expanding out of control.

The balance that our founders incorporated into our founding documents was the balance between personal liberty and federal power. Now that government is once again rapidly expanding in size, scope and reach, we will need to change our voting behavior or we will find our liberties and our national treasure dwindling away.

United States: National Debt

The national debt is the single greatest threat to our national security as well as it is a threat to our national economy. When our national debt is as large as it is today, it threatens the very sustainability of the United States. As you can see, I have the real-time national debt counter running on all of the pages of this blog. My reason for displaying the debt counter is that I believe the national debt is the current greatest threat to our way of life. As you can see from the counter, our gross national debt is over 16 trillion dollars.

How big is 16 trillion? Let’s compare dollars to inches, with each dollar bill being 6 inches long. If we were to put the dollars end to end, our trail of dollars would stretch past the planet Saturn and would reach most of the way to Uranus.

The gross national debt is only a small portion of the total debt that threatens our nation. The total national debt which includes household, business, state and local governments, financial institutions, and the federal government come to over 58 trillion. [See US Debt Clock]

We also have our unfunded liabilities (social security; medicare; prescription drugs {medicare part D}) and they come to a total of 121 trillion dollars. [See US Debt Clock] So when we add our total national debt to our unfunded liabilities . . . . . well . . . we have run out of solar system and we are headed out into deep space.

Solving the Debt Calamity: See: United States: Economic Crisis

 

United States: Economic Crisis

The United States U.S. Federal Debtis in an economic crisis. This economic crisis is one of the worst, if not the worst, in our nation’s history. There were complex factors in play for many years that contributed to the creation of this crisis. There are, however, just a few bold moves that can reverse the trend thus preventing a economic catastrophe.

The leaders of our great nation, must cut federal spending while increasing federal revenue without raising taxes. So we need a leader with the courage to set a target of federal spending cuts, as a percentage of GDP, and cut nonessential programs and bureaucratic overhead until the target spending cuts have been achieved. Our economic crisis is a federal emergency, so these cuts should be swift and decisive.

Then our leaders need to create substantial increases in federal revenue without raising taxes. This can be accomplished by unleashing our nation’s energy industry. The federal government needs to deregulate and promote the production of natural gas, petroleum and coal. The federal government can accomplish this by fast tracking permits for energy production on federal lands while providing incentive to start that production in the very near term.

This quick and simple strategy would put millions of people back to work while producing the federal revenue required to address our nation’s crushing debt. The vast migration of the unemployed back into the work force would provide great relief for the depressed housing market.

The national debt, the employment situation and the depressed housing market sustains our economic crisis and rises to level of a national emergency. If we are to rise to the challenge of this emergency, bold initiatives must be implemented in months, not years. Otherwise the economic crisis will degrade into a catastrophe. An economic catastrophe, would result in a crippled declining economy that would last for decades. Such a crippled economy would produce long term pain, misery and desperation for the middle class and would be absolutely devastating for the underclass as upward mobility would grind to a standstill.

There is only one team that has anywhere near the experience to turn this grim situation around. That team is the Mitt Romney – Paul Ryan team. Mitt has extensive experience flipping large failing organizations into success stories and Paul Ryan has unmatched expertise in the mechanisms of our national economy. We may have only one more shot at preventing our economic crisis from turning into a national disaster.

Choose to stand to the challenge.

Choose to Restore the United States of America.

Cast your votes for smaller government, less federal spending and serious federal debt reduction policy.

 

“It’s the Economy Stupid”

ForeclosureWell we’re not stupid but the economy is extremely complex. The one thing we all know is that the economy is the one thing, politicians talk about, that has an ever present influence on our lives. A precise understanding of the economy requires advanced chaos theory and super computers to even attempt the building of a scientific model. The basics, nonetheless, still come down to how much we spend compared to how much we earn.

We all know the economy is in horrible shape. Our housing market is in the tank and unemployment is between 8 and 21% depending on which metric you use. Consumer confidence is near an all time low and people are afraid to spend their money.

Anyone who has managed a household, however, can tell you how to cope with a weak economy. If you consistently spend more then you make, you are headed for big trouble. The household economist knows that if one of the household income earners loses their job, household spending will have to be substantially reduced to save the household.

So when millions of people lost their jobs in our country, our government went on a spending binge in an attempt to spend our way out of the biggest economic bust since the great depression.

Without understanding the complex subtleties of our economy, it still makes sense to believe that reducing our national spending while increasing our revenue would be a good strategy to restore the nation to economic health.

On the revenue side, we need to pick an industry with the largest potential market and dramatically expand this industry. This industry needs to be a known and understood present day market an not a gamble on some presupposed future market. See: U.S. Energy Policy: Fossil Fuels

We need dramatic cuts in spending. Inefficient government programs, including redundant departments, frivolous programs and numerous ear mark programs should be eliminated. We should also consider a moratorium on non-essential programs and entitlement spending, so that more near term revenue gains can be used to trim the nation’s crushing debt.

Increasing taxes on any sector of the economy has the effect of producing a drag on that economy. It is better to produce more government revenue by expanding the economy and not by raising the tax rates. Inequities in taxation would be better addressed by reworking and simplifying the tax code which can be addressed after we are out of the crisis.

 

US Energy Policy: Fossil Fuels

Without an aggressive, Oil Wellintelligent, and practical energy policy the United States will wither and decline.The lifeblood of all nations on our planet is energy. If a nation were to be personified as a person, energy would be our food, our water and our air. Without food water and air the body will die and without a steady flow of energy, nations will die.

Make energy our first initiative. We have a lot of energy resources. We have a lot of expertise in energy technology. We need a lot of energy. The rest of the world needs a lot of energy. And – we – need – to – put – a – lot – of – people – back – to – work. Energy could be the leading industry to expand our work force while reducing our bleeding of American wealth to foreign energy producers.

Because putting Americans back to work is the first step to our climb back to prosperity, I favor an approach that sets the economic aspect of our energy policy as the highest precedence in the formulation of a new comprehensive energy policy. Eighty five percent of our total energy consumption comes from petroleum, natural gas and coal. That means that eighty five percent of our energy producing technology and infrastructure is structured around petroleum, natural gas and coal. Our first goal should be to greatly increase the United States’ production of these resources. I am proposing that we fast track permits for all aspects of natural gas, petroleum and coal production. All infrastructure projects, such as the Keystone Pipeline, should also be fast tracked as soon as possible. This strategy would put the energy and construction sectors back to work, would move us towards energy independence and would greatly reduce the flow of American wealth to overseas energy suppliers.

As we continue to ramp up the nation’s energy industry, our next goal will be toNatural Gas make the United States and our friends in the American continents the world’s leading “cartel”  in energy production. This new energy alliance will shift the heart beat of the energy industry back to the Americas and will establish the United States as the leader of this new alliance. An alliance like this could counter any threats of cutting oil flow from potential overseas adversaries, would give us a say in pricing strategies and generally add to our security by having more control over global energy flow.

 

Call on your cCoalongressional representatives and tell them to put America back to work by unleashing our energy industry. Tell congress we want increased domestic production in natural gas, petroleum and coal. And tell your representatives that America needs the construction of all segments of the Keystone Pipeline to commence immediately.

US Energy Policy

The energy policy of the United States has been somewhere between non-existent and ridiculous. The leaders oOil Wellf the United States in conjunction with the leaders of the Unites States energy industry need to compose a comprehensive energy policy that will create a path to sustainable energy production for the present and the future.

 

The new energy policy should provide for an immediate Solar Panelsincrease in domestic energy production, reduce dependence on foreign oil, create jobs for Americans, increased tax revenue by way of increased production and generate more business for the American energy sector.

This new energy policy should encompass the “all of the above” approach when addressing our energy requirements. The comprehensive energy policy should include plans for the following issues and technologies.

  1. Traditional Fossil Fuels
  2. Renewable, Alternative and Green Energies (including Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Bio-fuels, others)
  3. Nuclear Energy
  4. Energy Infrastructure and the Smart Grid
  5. Economic Growth and Sustainability
  6. Future Energy Sources
  7. Future Energy Strategies

In future posts, I will be talking about all of the technologies, listed above, that should be part of our comprehensive energy policy.

Wind TurbineIn the worst economy since the great depression, we should create energy policy that is most compatible with economic recovery efforts. Traditional energy, I believe, is the segment of the new energy policy that will best create sustainable job growth in the energy industry.  Therefore I will start this discussion with my next post which will be about the role of Traditional Fossil Fuels in the creation of our new energy policy.

Republicanism, Federalism and Democratic Socialism Discussion

Bill of RightsIs American Federalism being replaced by Democratic Socialism?   The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution of the United States to reconcile the liberty-power dialectic. This difference of ideas was argued by the federalists and the ant-federalists before the ratification of the constitution. After the constitution was ratified, the issues of personal liberty and federal power resurfaced as a power struggle between the Jeffersonian Republicans and the Hamiltonian Federalists. The present day over-sized and over centralized federal government includes more and more policies associated with progressive social justice issues. The federalist side of the dialectic is beginning to look more like democratic socialism as wealth redistribution becomes more intertwined into federal policy. Continue reading

NASA’s Constellation Program / US Leadership

NASA’s Constellation Program / Why it should have never been scrapped

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

— President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962

Will the Unites States surrender its leadership role in every conceivable area of importance?

Ares lHeavy Liift VehicleCongress should have demanded the re-authorization of the Constellation Program the moment it was cancelled. It is good that the private sector is getting involved with manned space initiatives, but the NASA manned space programs should have never been allowed to lapse. The Shuttle program should have been extended until a replacement system was ready to fly. And that replacement system should be something similar to the Constellation program which was a heavy lift transportation system that could accommodate: transport to the international space station, the construction of a lunar outpost, and a manned mission to Mars.

Beyond the obvious, of being able to fly ourselves to the Space Station, maintaining the infrastructure and programs necessary for space leadership continuity and maintenance of military, commercial and scientific space projects and research, there are other extremely important reasons why the Constellation program should have been funded.

It is a very sad fact that a history of disastrous policies like this one de-funding our space program has left our nation on the brink of surrendering our super power status. In addition to cutting wasteful spending and pumping up the environment for American business, there are some extremely important actions that must be taken if we are to climb out of this huge economic hole we find ourselves in. We are going to need something like the information age explosion to give our next generation of entrepreneurs and business people something they can latch onto and explosively create the next economic boom cycle. The moon shot program funded the science and provided incentive to turn that science into engineerable technologies like the microprocessor. The moon shot program very well could be the single antecedent to our last great economy.

This could happen again, with innovation providing the business world with the cutting edge tools to allow the next economic up cycle to become an explosive economic boom cycle. The United States is going to need an explosive boom cycle to offset our disastrous economic condition and our huge debt crisis.

The Constellation program, including the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, should have been fully funded and reauthorized for the missions proposed by President Bush. Keep the United States at the forefront of space science and space exploration. Our present and our future depend upon it.

Free Enterprise and the Competitive Spirit

From Model Ts to iPads, Capitalism at work

The human speciesModel-T, like many species on the earth, are competitive by nature. The modern day competitive spirit is the survival instinct processed through centuries of culture and society. And as many would presume, the competitive spirit has been refined into many different forms.

The survival instinct, which allows successful species to flourish, is a great deal older and more hard wired then the refining influence of civilization.

Life made its debut on earth about two billion years ago with the emergence of some instances of bacteria and algae. And with this early life came the genetic material that codes the form and processes of life.  From about 430 million years ago the earthiPad was witness to rise of many new forms that included the first land plants and as early as 10 million years ago the earth became host to the first apelike men. Modern humans have roamed the earth for somewhere between the last 300,000 to 200,000 years. So we have about 2 billion years of genetic programming supporting the survival instinct with about the last 10 million years of encoding encapsulated into the various humanoid species.

Contrast the biological timelines with the timelines of civilization which historians have dated back between 7,000 and 5,000 years in places such as Mesopotamia and Egypt. The timelines of civilization make up a tiny fraction of the timelines associated with biology and the mechanisms of life. Continue reading