Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Connect The Energy Dots


The sunlight is free. The wind is free. Energy from the sunlight and wind is not free.

From the Detroit Free Press:

DTE, Consumers may hike electric rates by 11%
Unless state regulators step in, Michigan's two major utilities may raise residential electric rates.

The typical Consumers Energy household could pay 11% more starting in May, adding $10 to the monthly bill.

Beginning in July, Detroit Edison's average household could pay 11% more, or about $7 more per month.

The rate hikes can take effect automatically under a new state law if the Michigan Public Service Commission doesn't act within six months of the requests being filed.
From the Michigan Government site:
Granholm Says Denmark Experience Demonstrates New Energy Economy Can Create Jobs
LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today highlighted a partnership with Denmark that will allow Michigan to explore new development and share experiences in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and job creation.

Granholm said that Michigan's agreement with Denmark will strengthen our ability to collaborate with a country that has moved to the forefront of renewable energy technologies and put people to work in the process.

"Denmark leads the world in wind power technology, an industry employing 20,000 people in a nation with half Michigan's population," Granholm said. "We understand how a new energy economy can be a source of increased innovation and job creation. In fact, the Center for American Progress calculates that Michigan can create 60,000 new jobs by investing in wind, solar, biofuels and energy efficiency."

Granholm underscored some of the steps that Michigan has implemented, from putting in place a Renewable Portfolio Standard to initiating the nation's most aggressive tax incentives for research and development and manufacturing of batteries,.

"At a time when our economy is challenged and job losses continue to dominate the news, it's important to remember and to continue to invest in the steps that will diversify our state's economy and create jobs, all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people," Granholm said.
From The Detroit News:
DTE sees 280 wind turbines in Thumb's Huron County

Associated Press

BAD AXE -- The skyline in Michigan's rural Thumb could look a bit like historic Holland a few years down the road under DTE Energy Co.'s announced plan to install 125 wind turbines in Huron County by 2015 -- and 280 within two decades.

DTE Energy officials told Huron County commissioners the company must add 1,200 megawatts of green power to meet the state's new energy mandate. State rules require utilities to provide 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

The Huron County wind turbines eventually could provide 4 percent to 4.5 percent of the company's total power, DTE says.

The Detroit-based utility now generates about 1 percent of its power from renewable energy sources, said Grady Nance, manager of DTE Energy Renewable Energy Development. He said DTE's goal is to have about 3 percent of its electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2012.

"We're going to be running hard to do that," the Huron Daily Tribune quoted him as telling the county board March 17.

State law requires DTE to buy at least half of the remaining 9 percent of total power that has to come from renewable energy sources from a third party. DTE says it seeks to produce the other half of the renewable energy from its own projects.

It said it will do so primarily through commercial-scale wind projects and some smaller solar projects.

"We will have about 565 (megawatts) of wind energy on our own" in Huron County by 2028, Nance said.

DTE has about 55,000 acres of land easements signed, with about 7,000 more acres under negotiations, according to The Saginaw News.

In response to questions from commissioners, DTE officials said the utility expects to cap the renewable portion of its generating capacity at 10 percent. That's because green power still costs more than power from coal and nuclear plants.

DTE said construction should create about 200 jobs, with groundbreaking expected in 2011.
The way to improve a distressed economy is to:
  • Raise energy costs for businesses and consumers
  • Use a model of a highly subsidized energy system as the basis for designing future energy resources
  • Require a primary energy provider to use uneconomical methods of power generation or buy the power from other providers and pass the higher costs on to business and consumers
Three dots... not so hard to connect.


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)