What We Should be Doing with Solar Energy

Bob Niemeyer

In the 1930’s, America embarked on several projects to build dams to generate electricity so people could better their lives and create jobs. Along with the availability of low cost electricity came jobs that were related to the use of the energy.

Also in the 1930’s, there were many other efforts to get this nation out of the Great Depression, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, and the Work Progress Administration, WPA, projects that gave us our national forests and parks.

The CCC, WPA, and the construction of dams did generate jobs, but those jobs ended. Only the electricity or energy and the parks provide jobs and Independence today.

The time is right for this nation to once again embark on another energy project that will lead to increasing our nations Independence. We have the technology and most certainly have the need to pursue a way to generate the electrical energy we need.

The first project that I will strive for as Governor of the State of Oregon is the use of Solar cells to generate hydrogen which can be stored and used to generate electricity with fuel cell technology within the cities of America.

The goal is to use Solar World in Hillsboro Oregon to make solar cells that would be placed in areas in Eastern Oregon that have very little if any value to agriculture or living. Not just a few cells, but as many as 20 square miles of solar cells. The energy collected would then be used for the generation and storage of hydrogen that would be piped to this nation’s cities and turned back into electricity with fuel cell technology. Fuel Cell technology is already being developed in Oregon. Essentially we would be building a giant battery to store the sun’s energy for efficient use later.

Why do such a project?

This nation is consuming a great deal of fossil fuels to generate electricity. That electricity is then sent all over the United States via high power lines and finally to our homes and business. Only about 30% of the power put on the electrical grid gets used in our homes and businesses. The rest is lost by resistance and other losses. Just stand next to a high power line and listen to the sparks and humming coming from the wires and insulators. And then think about the thousands of miles of power lines all over the United States sparking and humming every day and night. Finally, imagine a pipeline from where the hydrogen is stored to where the energy will be used without losing any of the energy.

The technology could also be manufactured and sold to other states and countries around the world. For example, Nevada has thousands of square miles of land that cannot be used for anything.

Oregon has often helped out California by sending hydro-electric power to assist with critical needs and shortages. Only about 10% or less of the power got its intended destination. All the rest was lost as heat and sparks. States like Nevada could purchase Oregon’s technology and build hydrogen plants that could then transfer the energy to California or eastward.

There will always be a demand for carbon based fuels. A demand that will increase as the economies of the world get going again. Building such a system will be necessary for the people of the State of Oregon and the Nation because the demand for energy will increase far faster than other resources will be able to keep up.

Bob Niemeyer

July 15, 2015