John W. Aiken, Jr. for Washington State Governor in 2008

Energy Self Reliance - Part 1
Energy Self Reliance - Part 2
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state_seal30.gif (1600 bytes) Washington State Energy Self-Reliance Program
Part 2

In the previous paper I proposed that we put on the ballot for voter approval a new state department called the Department of Energy Management. It would control and manage new Washington State sources of energy production and manufacturing. It’s purpose is to keep energy cost to Washington State citizens and businesses, at the lowest price possible. I looked at sugar beets for ethanol fuel production as well as raising cattle for methane and methanol production.
In order to have cheap energy you have to remove the for-profit motive from energy manipulation that determines the spot price for energy. You cannot expect a for-profit corporation not to want to give more wages and benefits to their employees in an effort to stay in pace with inflationary pressures that increase the cost of living. For-profit companies also have shareholders and corporate officers that must be kept satisfied.
As far as I am concern, energy is among the most important of all national security issues, right up there with air, water, food, and shelter. In order to have a prosperous and healthy economy, it's necessary that we have a surplus supply of energy to meet all of our needs, as well as unexpected needs caused by natural disasters. Energy is a part of nearly everything in our lives and is a portion of everyone’s monthly budget. The quantity and quality of these energy derivatives are dependent upon the user’s standard of living and preferences. When you take away these preferences, you take away choices and remove competition to out-produce, and thus lower prices. This is a form of price fixing and a form of monopoly in which a consortium of business enterprises are manipulating supply and price in an attempt to keep their business profits high.
We are stuck with the need for electrical power for our homes and businesses, so we need to produce more electrical power to meet our population growth demand. I do not know what deal the State of Washington made with the Federal Government to build Grand Coulee Dam but our state gave up to the Federal Authority its own right in so many respects to manage its own river system. Just as President Carter gave away the Panama Canal that took so much American life and expense to build, why can’t the current President give back to the State of Washington the Grand Coulee Dam? Hydrocarbon rich states in our country receive royalties to their General Fund and their citizens from annual sales of their hydrocarbon products. What does Washington State receive for hydroelectric power generated on our own river system? Don’t think for a moment that Grand Coulee Dam has not been paid off since it was built. It has paid for itself several times over, so that is not a factor. The Grand Coulee Dam is responsible with irrigating large arid portions of state that lack water to produce food in some of the most fertile soil around. To enjoy this bounty indirectly from building the Grand Coulee Dam, natural trade-offs were made, such as the loss of salmon and steelhead in our creek and stream tributaries that feed the Columbia River system. Also prehistoric human settlements and all of the natural shoreline habitat that took nature ten to hundred thousands of years to develop were lost. Sediment from accelerated erosion processes have silted many streams and creeks as well as destroyed fish spawning beds. Bank and slope erosion along the dam system, as well the tributaries, contribute sediment that make it necessary to constantly dredge bars and sediment buildups that constrict the river system.
Since we have limited control over our current energy sources to our citizens, our citizens are at the mercy of whatever these energy providers want and can charge for their products. There is no serious incentive for these energy providers to lower prices for their products. And since they are not willing to invest their profits into developing new cheap energy for the good of the people, and since that investment is so great that an individual cannot fund it, I would like our state to develop tidal, wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources for the people.
Additionally I feel we should support a requirement that every new business of substantial size, will themselves have some form of alternative energy production plant that at minimum will help meet their power usage requirements. Major benefits of this include that they are not competing against people on fixed incomes who are using power for their own basic home living needs. Of course this requirement is unlikely to happen without government regulation. 

I would also like our major counties and cities that have waste treatment plants, to go to the next level by becoming 100% green. The next phase is for them to build methane gas generators from the BILLIONS of gallons of human bodily waste. Everyone sees the pictures of landfills and the piles of waste dumped there, but few ever see the sewers that are underground creeks and rivers of human bodily waste. We already are paying a lot of tax dollars and monthly service fees for sewage treatment and if we went to the next step, I believe we can cut energy costs and be more environmentally friendly. From this waste it's readily possible to generate enough methane gas to produce a good deal of power, as well as convert the methane gas into liquid methanol to fuel all of the government vehicles belonging to the police, fire, and school buses. Methanol is a very clean fuel with very high octane. There are hundreds of landfills throughout our state. We should be lining these areas to trap their methane gas to utilize for our power needs.
It is very hard for me to understand why we have not developed more geothermal power generators when we live in a state with so many active volcanoes. It is also hard for me to believe that we have not developed any tidal generator facilities when we have so many tidal areas in our state. These forms of power production could be localized and have a known rate of cost and power production.
Solar and wind power production are not totally dependable as these require fluctuating natural conditions to generate power. I would like to see a percentage of the cost of generating methane, bio-fuels, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear, and petroleum-based production, to go to funding solar and wind power generators for individual and commercial use. I believe the cost to make home and business power systems will drop considerably in the future due to mass production. The first VCR, computer, and HDTV all cost many times more when they first came out and look what they go for now.
Wind Power Electrical Generation Project

I have been researching wind power and solar power as a passive source of electrical power to help offset our high demand and prices. If we could make them affordable, more people would purchase them. The only way to make them affordable is to mass produce them ourselves, which would help with our unemployment numbers. I am looking at large industrial scale windmills for power generation. I fully support us funding a statewide effort to construct 6,000 10 megawatt windmills for power production in our state. One of these 10 megawatt windmills can produce enough power for 5,000 homes. These windmills are not cheap and cost well over a million dollars apiece to manufacture. Also there is investment in land, powerhouses, lines, installation, and maintenance. These warranted machines have a 20-30 year operating life. Most aging is due to bearing fatigue and rotor balance problems. However parts can be replaced.
Instead of buying the windmills from another entity, we should manufacture them ourselves with Washington State employees. By manufacturing these windmills ourselves, we can produce them at the lowest cost possible since we would have no profit motive. We would establish several facilities to manufacture 100 windmills a month. This will employ in our state many skilled laborers and technicians. We will need windmill installation crews and site development workers to prepare an area for each windmill.
It will take roughly five years to install all 6,000 windmills under this Washington State Wind Power Program. This power project is something akin to the building of Grand Coulee Dam, but unlike with Grand Coulee Dam, this time the citizens of only Washington State will be the ones reaping the benefits of this new abundant supply of cheap electrical power.
It is my intent to give every Washington citizen a bonus royalty of 25,000 kilowatt hours of power annually for partnering with the state in funding this very important project. This bonus is in addition to the marked financial savings in the energy expenses Washingtonians would enjoy. It may take five years or more for this royalty to begin to be available. The annual production of all 6,000 windmills is estimated to be almost $9 billion in electrical power at five cents a kilowatt hour at 33% efficiency. Every 5% increase above 33% mean an extra $1.25 billion in power production. It may be necessary that we allow new state residents to become part of this royalty program only until a certain breaking point where we must stop so as to be fair to the original Washington State citizens that were taxed for this and thus are it’s early investors.
I figure that 25,000 kilowatt hours is enough power to provide for an individual of modest means. It comes out to $1250 at five cents a kilowatt hour over the entire year. Thus a family of four or more would come out with a windfall under this royalty package. More specifically a family of four would receive annual credit of 4 x 25,000 kilowatt hours i.e. 100,000 kilowatt hours, and for every child more, another 25,000 kilowatt hours. If your 4 member family uses only a third of the 100,000 kilowatt hours you’re entitled to, you can sell that surplus to a private power company. In this case it would mean an extra $3300 for the family to use for other things like food or clothing. Though it’s the customer’s money to spend as they wish, I would prefer they use it to purchase home power windmills and install solar cells to become almost 100% self-reliant, even in cases of power outages and storms. Installing these home power units would have the added benefit of appreciating the value of a home.
The cost of the windmills being used in this Washington State Power Generation Project is expected to be $10-12 billion. I have broken down the project into a five year plan costing $2 billion a year for the five years. We would see $12 million dollars every month for every 100 windmills on the grid and should be producing almost $350 million annually in two years and $550 million annually in three years. I estimate the day we have all 6,000 windmills on the energy grid we would have already paid off a lot of the construction cost by also selling the power to private power utilities brokers who then resell it to others at a higher rate. My intent however is not to enrich private utility companies with cheap power for them to profit off of. Instead my intent is to produce power more efficiently without having to buy the power companies out and make them into public companies. Maybe later on into the project we may have enough surplus money to make an offer to buyout these private companies and incorporate them into a state public works type program. Again it is my intent to make inexpensive electrical power so readily available in our state that our citizens share in its success financially. The private power companies will not be upset with possibly losing you as a customer as they can sell their electrical power to the National Power Grid. Private power companies would no longer be obligated to provide full power to our homes and businesses and can act as power flow regulators to provide power at peak consumption periods and when the wind isn’t blowing and/or when it’s night and the solar cells aren’t working.
In ten to fifteen years of power generation, these windmills will need substantial maintenance and parts replacement. Even though they are built to last twenty to thirty years, it would be prudent at all times to have replacement parts available for 1,500 units. It is hoped that down the road technology will advance and even more efficient wind-powered generators will be developed that can produce power in the gigawatt range. A gigawatt generator would produce a hundred times more power than the 10 megawatt generator being used. If we had 6,000 windmill generating a gigawatt of power, it would produce over $2 billion of power every day. It's my desire for our state to become a major producer of wind and solar power in our nation. Remember, in return for this huge investment for cheap power, you will receive not only generous credits for your own electrical use but the opportunity to sell your share back to the system. It is very likely that some or more of these windmills will be upgraded in twenty years or less with higher producing generators. This upgrade can be done with comparatively less expense. Our state could be a major power broker of the nation and businesses will flock to Washington State. We would improve our employment market in a variety of ways including by becoming major manufacturers of wind turbine power assemblies and solar cell equipment for industrial and home use. We would not only be producing electricity and products for our own use but for national and global use, creating major industries in our state.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this wind energy program and I hope we can fund something like this soon. It comes out to under a dollar a day for the next five years for every citizen in our state to fund this project. This is just a little over $300 a year for something that will pay back perhaps a hundred times that amount over its life, and maybe a thousand times if upgraded in another 20 to 30 years. We wouldn’t care if a Washington State citizen received their bonus royalty of 25,000 kilowatt hour (which is separate from the standard discounted energy Washingtonians would receive) each year to use or sell. By becoming power brokers ourselves it will lead to energy self-reliance for Washington State.

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