We need to restore Liberty

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Location: Somersworth, New Hampshire, United States

I am a veteran who took seriously his oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Look at Green Energy

Green Energy consists of energy sources that are renewable and produce little or no pollution. It benefits our society by reducing the need for petroleum products and other non-renewable energy sources. It also reduces the emissions that end up in the air and on the ground or in the water.
One of the more promising green energy technologies is biofuels like biodiesel. It can be used to replace diesel fuel in vehicles and home heating systems. Biodiesel also increases the performance of your engine. Biodiesel is a "premium" diesel fuel that cleans your fuel system, improves engine lubricity and reduces particulate emissions, all of which help to extend the life of your diesel equipment. Pure biodiesel (b100) eliminates sulfates from engine emissions, and significantly reduces other toxic emissions that would normally be produced by engines that run on diesel fuel. Another benefit is that biodiesel can be made just about anywhere from vegetable oil, alcohol, and lye. Currently most biodiesel is made from used vegetable oil from restaurants, but work is being done to try to find other possible sources, such as algae and other plants, that could increase production and reduce costs. Currently, biodiesel is being produced all over the USA. B20 (a 20% blend) is sold at Rymes Propane and Oils filling stations in Antrim, Peterborough, Keene, Greenfield and Loudon, NH, and at Fleming Oil Company, Inc. in West Chesterfield, NH, and at Monadnock Fuels in Keene, NH. B100, which is pure biodiesel, is sold at Monadnock Energy Solutions LLC in Dublin, NH.
Another green energy source is solar energy. Solar energy is free because it comes from the sun. The only reason that it is not used nearly as much as it should be is that the equipment required to harness this energy can be quite costly. Solar energy can be used in several ways. By using energy efficient design, such as placing most windows on the south side of a house, a house can utilize the heat from the sun to provide much of the heating required for keeping the house warm. One type of solar panel, which includes a lot of water pipe covering a portion of a south facing roof, can be used to heat water. Another type of solar panel, called a photovoltaic solar panel, converts light to electricity. Although photovoltaic cells can be quite costly to purchase, once they are installed, they require very little maintenance and do not produce any emissions. Solar energy, having been around for a long time, is being used all over the world.
Another green energy source is wind power. Wind power in one form or another has been used for many years. One of the earliest uses was to power sail boats. Another of the early uses was for turning a mill stone to produce flour. Another use that has been around since at least my father’s childhood is to power pumps that are used to pump water out of wells. Windmills are used by power companies to generate electricity, but some home-owners also use windmills to produce electricity for their homes. My step-grandfather’s uncle owned a home on an island off the coast of Finland which got all of its electricity from a windmill that he built, and a solar panel. One of the disadvantages of wind power is the fact that after a while, moving parts wear out and the windmill will need maintenance, which can be costly. Other perceived disadvantages are that windmills make noise, ruin scenic views, and kill birds that fly into them. From my experience, windmills don’t make enough noise to be annoying, windmills are not that bad looking, and could be made prettier by painting them to look like giant spinning flowers, and birds die from flying into other things also, like buildings, power transmission towers, radio towers, and cars so I don’t view those reasons as sufficiently valid to rule out wind power. Wind energy is harnessed all over the world, especially in windy places, like parts of California. An alternative to the traditional wind mill is the vertical wind turbine, which is quiet, more reliable, does not kill birds, and works at a broader range of wind speeds.
Another green energy source is waste to energy (WTE), which burns trash to produce electricity. Although earlier plants that produced electricity from trash produced a lot of emissions, newer technologies have made it possible to separate out some recyclable materials and produce lots of energy from trash while emissions are lower than a power plant that burns coal or oil would produce. Another benefit of WTE is that this method of trash disposal does not produce methane gas or groundwater contamination like a traditional landfill would. The byproduct of WTE, ash, can be used to produce cement and in the manufacture of roads, among other things. WTE plants can be found in ME, NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, NJ, MD, FL, WA, CA, GA, SC, Ontario,AL, IN, HI, MI, MN, OR, VA, and Italy, among other places.

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