There are some people who have the ability to turn almost any conversation about fantasy futures into a “boring” discussion involving honest numbers, real physics, material limitations and chemical equations. They are the geeky types who just do not know how to have fun by spinning tales involving perpetual motion, unlimited energy storage systems that can be recharged in minutes, or wind turbines that produce power on demand – even on a pleasant, calm spring day.
Those boring engineers and scientists are MY KIND OF PEOPLE. They are the one that I want in my lifeboat when trying to survive a shipwreck and the ones that I want on my island if my four hour cruise turns into a long running sit-com. The lifeboat story telling and campfire tall tales may not be as exciting, but at least I would have a better than average chance of surviving and prospering with compadres that understand how to make the best use of whatever resources may be available.
One of those hard number groups, the Coalition for Energy Solutions, has announced that they are holding a press conference today, April 20, 2010 at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vermont. At that event, which will take place in the Cedar Creek Room at 1:30pm and last until 3:00 pm, the Coalition for Energy Solutions will release their report, titled Vermont Electric Power In Transition (VEPIT). The carefully reviewed and argued document will put some numbers, including dollars, amount of material, required amount land by actual location, and length of construction, behind the glossy, expensively produced and vacuous report titled Repowering Vermont: Replacing Vermont Yankee for a Clean Energy Future.
(Note: You will have to supply an email address to VPIRG in order to obtain a PDF copy of their report. Since I already have one of their paper copies, I did not go through that process. I have no need to open myself up to even more fundraising spam. The Coalition for Energy Solutions does not attempt to capture any personal information; they want you to be able to read, digest and question the numbers in their report.)
Repowering Vermont was issued in the Summer of 2009 by the Vermont Public Interest Research and Education Fund. I have a copy of the document, which was handed out by the bushel during many public gatherings. It is pretty, has some heart warming photos of children playing in front of solar panels, distant wind turbines on hill tops, multi-color charts and graphs, a half page photo of an electric car that seats two and sells for well over $100,000, a barn covered by solar panels and even an obligatory cow or two. Unfortunately for anyone who would like to make a decision, the brochure, which reminds me of the documents that a car salesman tried to give me in the showroom a few days ago, focuses on “sex appeal” and does not contain a price list for any of the option packages.
One final note – the Coalition for Energy Solutions has just 6 active members. Four are registered Professional Engineers, one is a PhD physicist, and one has a Masters of Science (MS) (which I think is in Physical Chemistry).