Could wind energy fix the state’s financial woes?

While I am not sure what to think of Senator Carper’s idea about the postal service, I have often thought if the state of SD had a financial interest in wind energy we could subsidize the state government much like North Dakota or Alaska does with oil revenue. We could finally rid ourselves of video lottery, we could eliminate the food tax, we could reduce property taxes and we could finally fund education properly. I have often thought that the wind in SD belongs to all of us, not private energy companies. Food for thought.

4/25/2012 | FOXNATION.COM

As the potential collapse of the United States Postal Service looms on the horizon, one Senate Democrat has proposed an unusual plan to solve the crisis.

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) looks to harvest the electricity that windmill farms produce in order to power a new fleet of battery-operated postal delivery vehicles, replacing the previous ’25 to 30 years old’ ‘dilapidated’ vehicles.

The Senator admits the idea is “out there” but concludes that “we need to be thinking boldly, and the postal service needs to do that”


#1 rufusx on 04.29.12 at 6:44 pm

The big problem with this whole “collapse of the USPO” BS argument is that congress is CONSITUTIONALLY MANDATED (they have no choice) to provide a national postal service. Only a constitutional amendment would change that- FAT CHANCE.

#2 Craig on 04.30.12 at 8:41 am

Are those postal trucks really 25 to 30 years old? That would simply amaze me considering government typically replaces all of their vehicles on a normal schedule which results in most vehicles being less than six years old.

Even if that were true that they are that old, I fail to see how buying tens of thousands of new vehicles will “save” the postal service. The savings from fuel costs would more than be erased by development costs of a new electric vehicle that meets the requirements of the USPS. Not to mention that most electric vehicles today are only capable of limited range which could render them unsuitable for postal service work.

Novel idea, but I don’t think Senator Carper used his head on this one. If they really want to save money on vehicles, they should start having most of their carriers drive smaller fuel efficient FWD SUVs or small station wagons that are available in right hand drive without the need to custom design something.

I’d hate to know what they spend on those little mail trucks them have now, but I can promise you Chrysler, Ford, or Chevy would be capable of providing them all the right hand drive vehicles they would ever need at a lower cost.

This all makes me wonder… would there happen to be a wind turbine plant and/or battery manufacturer located in the great state of Delaware? That is about the only reason I can think that Senator Carper would suggest such an idea.

#3 Tom H. on 04.30.12 at 9:07 am

It’s wishful thinking. Wind energy makes us feel good, but it’s really not a viable alternative energy. It takes so much energy (most of it from oil and coal) to manufacture, install and maintain the windmills that the amount of energy they actually produce becomes nominal.

Read “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler if you want to learn about the true viability of the alternative energy sources that we are being peddled today.

#4 rufusx on 04.30.12 at 11:01 am

Tidal energy is the most stable predictable energy source available. Note how it almost never is in the conversation.

#5 rufusx on 04.30.12 at 11:06 am

Here’s anpother simpleidea. When wind turbines are “overproducing” – don’t just feather them off, use that excess energy to pump water into towers or reservoirs and use that water to turn hydro-turbines when the wind dies down. It’s a simple mechanical solution (controlled by simple numeric algorithmns) to the “battery” problem.

This stuff is not the “rocket science” it’s sometimes projected to be. We’ve had the actual answers for many centuries. Oil/gas/coal/nuclear just wants to keep them behind their smoke-screen.

#6 Tom H. on 04.30.12 at 1:24 pm

Rufus – good ideas. I’ve heard about tidal energy, and I wonder how its capital / maintenance costs compare to wind.

On the topic of the USPS – note how this is another (hidden) cost of the suburban sprawl development pattern. In older (denser) neighborhoods, a postman can WALK his route and still deliver to a large number of customers. Not really possible out in the ‘burbs, so every postman needs a truck to do his rounds. Same deal with police cruisers. When’s the last time you saw a cop walking a beat? The cruisers that every officer needs to function increase the cost of a police officer many times over. Imagine what we could do if we could invest that money in the officers themselves!

#7 l3wis on 04.30.12 at 9:27 pm

“Tidal energy is the most stable predictable energy source available.”

Yeah, really can’t argue with the reliability of the Moon’s gravity. Huh?

As for wind energy, and state finances, I guess I was just trying to point out all the great natural resources we have in SD, and how an elite few control it. Why? That is complete shit! We should all benefit from it.

#8 anooner on 05.01.12 at 7:53 am

I think the problem with wind energy in SD is the cost of transmission. We could generate all kinds of it, but then have no means to send it. The guys who gets there first with a wireless transmission system is going to be in fat city.

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