Letter: Alternative energy needs to be explored

Not many reliable types of energy yet available to reach goal of 30 per cent renewable energy.

Alternative energy

Government has set a goal of 30 per cent renewable energy production. Reported capacity of wind farms are misleading because actual production varies from 20 to 4o per cent of capacity depending on location. The output is totally dependent on currently available wind.

Solar panel output is directly impacted by light intensity and sunlight. At this latitude, the output of a solar panel will be approximately half of one nearer the equator with much greater seasonal variability.

Storage may be practical from batteries for short periods. Other methods for longer periods are possible but all storage adds costs and requires extra energy.

Urban populations are dependent on reliable and readily available energy supplies for food distribution, preparation, and storage, water supply, sewage disposal, heat, light, communication capacity, transportation, and the list goes on. Costly redundant generation capacity must be available for when wind power generation fails.

Nuclear power generation has had problems with plants built with decades’ old technologies. The first nuclear reactor built in North America had the sole priority of producing plutonium for weapons. First generation electricity producing plants were based on this technology. Third and fourth generation plants are being designed to meet the environmental, safety, and fuel efficiency standards expected today. Priorities include safe shut down, can adapt quickly to demand changes, and take fuel utilization from three per cent to 90 per cent with a corresponding reduction in waste. Designs can be sized to fit a location’s needs. Output can be customized to produce electricity, heat for commercial and residential needs, hydrogen, or some combination of these.

Should we use large amounts of energy, materials and limited capital on thousands of turbines that require a duplication of generation capacity to mitigate their limitations and result in substantial increased costs to consumers, or investigate alternatives with properties which are favourable to power generation?

Roy Munro, Red Deer

Time to smell the coffee

Alberta, once the driver of the Canadian economy, is not in deep recession and is about to go even deeper thanks to Premier Notley, and Prime Minister Trudeau. One has only to drive around the neighbourhood and not the increasing number of homeless.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Rachel! Put on your shirt, Justin!

Never have I seen such arrogance since Pierre Elliot promoted Trudeaumania.

Premier Brad Wall seems to be the only bright and shining star on the horizon. Keep up the pressure, Brad.

Lloyd Wongstedt, Red Deer

Confederate flag flop

I read a letter to the editor where we received a lecture on the confederate flag and its meaning. The Confederate flag made an appearance at a recent anti carbon tax rally in Red Deer. It was a reaction to that politically correct brand we seem so eager to impose on those of us who wish to do the right thing. The Confederate flag has nothing to do with a carbon tax. I would venture to say the majority of people in Alberta don’t want a carbon tax and peaceful protest is persuasive and important. Peaceful protest gets things done. The Confederate flag in not a symbol of anti-carbon sentiments or for that matter, anything Albertan.

The writer of said letter suggested we should know the history of the Confederate flag before we pass judgment.

The Confederate flag is so far removed from the northwestern corner of Canada. It represented 10 southern states who wished to leave the American Union. Most of those states were not only way south, but pretty far east of the Albertan boarders. It has nothing to do with our life in the north. It is pretty and it has the moniker “rebel” associated to it. Albertans are intelligent business people. Our history is cluttered with mavericks who were tough enough to endure the harsh isolated landscape. So I would suggest we come up with our own symbol of maverick causes. I’m certain we could come up with something just a pretty that would be our own. It wouldn’t be associated with a loosing side in a war that was fought because the conclusion of slavery would impede an agricultural economy.

Take a walk down the beach at Sylvan Lake any weekend in the summer and witness first hand what a beautiful, diverse, global community our Province has become. That is something we should be proud of. The confederate flag is not a symbol of global inclusion. Political or not, I know that to be correct.

Ian McLean, Sylvan Lake

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