Day 2- Power Source week: Hydro Power

The views expressed do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of BB&B.
It is a food for thought week!

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross – http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

What we are going to “chat” about today is LOW IMPACT HYDRO POWER.

It’s World Water Day!

The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. This site started in 2001 as a community space and repository where people can upload their WWD event activities and reports. The theme changes every year.    http://www.worldwaterday.org/ &  http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/about.html

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“Hydropower is energy obtained from flowing water. Hydroelectric power supplies about 19 percent of the world’s electricity and an estimated 10 percent of electric generating capacity in the United States via dams and turbines. Hydropower is normally applied to peak-load demand because it is so readily stopped and started.

Thousands of hydropower dams throughout the U.S. are located on many rivers and streams. These dams can create pollution-free energy, but they can also produce adverse impacts on fish, wildlife and other resources.”  To read whole article http://www.greenpoweremc.com/lowimpacthydro.aspx

Image from Green Power EMC (in Georgia)
How Hydro Power Works -Image from Green Power EMC (in Georgia)

However, according to a Vermont Trout Unlimited Chapter President Clark Amadon ” New Hydro Power in the US is dead… because all the viable eco sites have been developed already.”  Through Mr Amadon The Botanicals have learned about  The Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI), based in Portland Maine.  On their website they state “LIHI’s mission is to reduce the impacts of hydropower dams through market incentives. LIHI does this through its Hydropower Certification Program, a voluntary certification program designed to help identify and reward hydropower dams that are minimizing their environmental impacts. Just as an organic label can help consumers choose the foods and farming practices they want to support, the LIHI certification program can help energy consumers choose the energy and hydropower practices they want to support.

In order to be certified by the Institute, a hydropower facility must meet criteria in the following eight areas:

  1. river flows,
  2. water quality,
  3. fish passage and protection,
  4. watershed protection
  5. threatened and endangered species protection,
  6. cultural resource protection,
  7. recreation, and
  8. facilities recommended for removal.”

Pretty cool stuff!

Now we all know that like all power sources, Hydro Power has some good things about it like these dams can create pollution-free energy …but that it also but… the dams can also produce significant adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.

and here is a news bite form Australia on the topic …from Geoff Strong is a  Senior writer at The Age Article is from The Sydney Morning Herald. (smh.com.au)

“Last week, Australian scientist Lee Furlong, who has worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said of the Japanese crisis that part of the problem was that the industry there was entirely private. By contrast, in France, which gets 80 per cent of its power from nuclear, there is a high level of government control.

”The French are not frightened of government regulation – I think they still have the guillotine,” Furlong quipped.

To the free-market high priests of today, any suggestion of government regulation is a step backwards. As for the rest of us, keen to maintain an economy in which we have jobs and can afford to keep the lights on, we might need to step backwards in order to step forwards.” Read the whole article.

Power source week–Around the world (a bit)

The views expressed do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of BBB. It is a food for thought week!

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross – http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

By the way – Happy Spring! (March 20 at exactly 7:44 AM. ET) Yahoo!!!!!!

Boggie and Beubo discuss possibilities for power options.

(Illustration at Posts end) Given the state of the world – the Beauties and the Beasties thought they ought to look into various power/energy sources and learn a bit more. Since Boggie is Chief Energy Office for the local power company Natural Renewable Resources Power Inc. and Boubolicious (Boubo) is Ambassador of Wisdom they will be leading the discussions for the week.

Today they will be thinking about Nuclear since that is on everyone mind. There are pros and cons. The cons are obvious these days. However, there are Pros as well – here are some interesting stats and a noteworthy article about France and Nuclear power – a country that basically runs on nuclear and its residents by in large are fine with that.

  • France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.
  • France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.
  • France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.
  • It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.

About 17% of France’s electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html

“France’s decision to launch a large nuclear program dates back to 1973 and the events in the Middle East that they refer to as the “oil shock.” The quadrupling of the price of oil by OPEC nations was indeed a shock for France because at that time most of its electricity came from oil burning plants. France had and still has very few natural energy resources. It has no oil, no gas and her coal resources are very poor and virtually exhausted.”  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/readings/french.html

FYI here in the USA – “Vermont gets more of its power from nuclear energy than any other state: 72 percent. Other top nuclear-generating states include New Jersey (four plants), Connecticut and South Carolina (seven plants), which all get more than half of their power from nuclear facilities. Illinois is right behind them at 48 percent (11 plants). California has four major nuclear facilities that generate about 15 percent of the state’s electricity. Officials say those plants are protected from any potential tsunami threat in the Pacific Ocean.”

http://www.cnbc.com/id/42071742/France_Is_World_s_Biggest_Nuclear_Power_Producer