| WHAT IS
ROLE OF RENEWABLES | WYRE WYND
COLLINSVILLE | PHOTOS |
The Role of
Summit Hydropower - Avon
Renewable energy is
energy from a non-depleting source. Common renewable technologies
include hydro, wind, solar photo voltaic, solar thermal, biomass,
tidal, wave and geothermal.
energy mix is as follows:
Natural Gas 37%
Oil/gas combination 8.6%
Non hydro renewables 7.8%
Conventional hydro 6.4%
Pump storage hydro 1.1%
Chart of New England's Energy Mix
SHI's philosophy is that our society consumes electricity and the
electricity must be generated from generating plants somehow,
somewhere. The best way to reduce negative impacts of generating
plants is to conserve our use and thus use less. However, even with
the employment of the best conservation practices we will still need
generating plants. With current technology there is no single
renewable generating technology that can supply all of our
electricity needs while providing the lowest environmental impact.
We cannot obtain all of our electricity from just hydro, solar, wind,
biomass, etc. In Connecticut, about 10% of our electricity is from
hydro, 75% of which is from Hydro Quebec. Nationally, hydro provides
about 7% of our electricity.
The answer is to develop and utilize all renewable sources of
electricity that, when prudently analyzed, provide the greatest
benefits with the lowest negative impacts.
SHI also believes that
renewables need and deserve incentives in the form of financial
assistance. This is justified due to the additional benefits that
renewables provide our society and our environment as compared to
non-renewable plants. However we do not believe in providing
incentives that result in 'renewables at any cost'. There is a
For example it does not make
sense to spend 1 million dollars on a renewable project if it only produces
500,000 kWH per year (unless there are some very site-specific overwhelming
benefits for a particular project). Although SHI has not utilized any grants or
low interest loans we believe that such incentives, whether from the CT Clean
Energy Fund, DOE, or US Government, are all monies derived from the pockets of
hard working citizens. There is no such thing as 'free money'. Each and every
dollar of incentive money was earned by some citizen thus it should be utilized
wisely and efficiently.
Now is a good time to promote
hydro. Ironic as it may seem, one of the worlds greatest projects, the Hoover
Dam, was built in the midst of the great depression in the 1930's. President
Herbert Hoover did a bold move by promoting this huge project in tough times.
The dam project employed 21,000 people, and has an installed capacity of about
2,000 MW. As a comparison, Connecticut's demand is about 5,000 MW.
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