Friday, November 13, 2009

Cow Pie Power in Holland

Cow dung is now being used to produce electrical power in a rural electrical power plant in the Netherlands, according to Reuters News, which reports as follows.

"AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A plant that converts cow dung into energy for homes opened in the Netherlands Friday.

Manure from cows at a nearby dairy farm will be fermented along with grass and food industry residues, and the biogas released during the process will be used as fuel for the thermal plant's gas turbines.

The heat generated will be distributed to around 1,100 homes in the area around Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands, the plant's operator Essent said in a statement."

This news item raises an obvious question. Since humans also produce "manure' in far larger quantities than do cows, why don't we tap into its energy potential? this is not a new idea. the usefulness of human excrement as an energy source is proven by the use of bovine waste.

I do not believe that there is only one source of alternative energy. between wind, solar and waste power, there is no reason for our energy to come from one source. An eclectic energy policy of looking to multiple sources of power will increase America's political and economic independence. it has the potential to cut seriously America's trade deficit and to thereby stabilise our currency.

An eclectic energy policy could extend to private homes as well. There is no reason to heat one's home entirely from one source. Wind or solar energy can be a supplementary source of heat and power for families still hooked up to the city power grid. Decentralising heating and electric systems can and should be made more feasible in the future. Solar paneling and wind mills can and should be manufactured for individual home owners.

A generation ago, computers were large and far too expensive for most private homes. They have become a fixture in a large percentage , if not a majority of American homes. Such a revolution is due for energy as well.

What about cars? Israel has undertaken a program to have a grid of charging stations across Israel where one can drop off a battery, pick up one that has been freshly charged and go on one's way. MSNBC reported as follows on Israel's innovative plan back in 2008.

"JERUSALEM - Israel's government on Monday endorsed the ambitious plan of a private entrepreneur to install the world's first electric car network here by 2011, with half a million recharging stations to crisscross the tiny nation.

Supporters hailed the undertaking as a bold step in the battle against global warming and energy dependency, but skeptics warned that much could still go wrong along the way.

In a signing ceremony with the Renault-Nissan Alliance _ under the slogan "Transportation without fuel, making peace between transportation and the environment" _ Israel's leaders pledged to provide tax incentives to customers to make Israel's cars fuel-free."

Holland and Israel have taught us valuable lessons in energy conservation and independence. Much money is invested in drilling for oil while we literally flush millions of kilowatt hours down the toilet. It's time to wake up and smell the!

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