Lacking creativity.

Somedays I get so very frustrated.  We’ve always done things this way so we’ll continue to do them this way.  It doesn’t creatively solve problems.  Problems that will only continue to get worse.

The Twin Cities area of Minnesota needs more electricity.  Why?  Well, we’ve been acquiring businesses and electronic infrastructure at an unprecedented rate.  MN is “advanced” in that we have wind turbines.  Most of them are located in southwestern MN where the wind blows the strongest.

In fact, if you put up a turbine in SW MN you won’t be able to sell all of the energy you can produce to the utilities because there is a dearth of transmission lines running to the main load center in MN – the cities.

So, what is the solution?  THIS!

Build more lines.  There is not a single mention of personal responsibility.  Nothing about conservation or reallocation of use.  Nothing but more, more, bigger, bigger.

I’d like to propose a solution.  No, I will never claim that it will solve the whole problem, nor will it be a permanent solution.  However, it could, potentially, be part of a bundle of actions that would make for a more sensible solution.

Sun Microsystems has a “black box.”  Basically it’s a semi-trailer of server racks. (water cooled, mind you!)  A great deal of our energy use is in computing power these days.  (Don’t get me started about how much computers waste energy.  I read a great line once that said that most desktop computers are small room heaters – which is quite accurate).

In any sense, server racks are energy intensive.  Why not locate a bunch of Sun’s server racks out in SW MN and run a pile of fiber optic line back to the cities?  Permitting for fiber optic is simple.  The health and environmental issues just about disappear.  We could move the load out to the source of the energy.

No, I’m not saying it’s a total solution.  But, really, a decent business opportunity? Yes. Is there need for backup power out there? Yes, could you use a small generator or fuel cell? Yes.  Are those commercially available? Yes.

Why aren’t things like this being discussed at the larger policy and planning level?  Or is that just our local reporting glossing over such intricacies?

Yes, this is a rant.


~ by mud on July 23, 2007.

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