To the editor:
I would like to respond to your July 2 editorial on ``Power Issues'' which poses the question -- ``How will American utility companies meet the ever-growing energy demands of the public and industry?''
The answer is not with nuclear energy but with renewable energy.
When nuclear energy was first proposed it was declared that it would be so cheap that we would not even need meters on homes. How far from the truth that turned out to be. We now know the environmental risks are the only aspect of nuclear power that tops the enormous plant development, operating and inevitable decommissioning costs. We are very fortunate in Kansas to only have one such plant to worry about causing some kind of major environmental disaster and only one such plant to one day pay for decommissioning of.
What will be in our future is renewable energy. Solar, wind, waste and biomass will supply the bulk of our demand over and above what the utilities can supply. Biomass is probably our best resource here in Kansas. This is because fuel wood trees are deep rooted which means they are better able to survive the droughts that global climate change is bringing and will help hold the soil from washing or blowing away in times of floods and droughts. And when severe storms take out tree plantations, the wood is not really lost but simply made immediately available for conversion to electric power as the mess is cleaned up. Combine these factors with a realization that demand for wheat and other Kansas farm products is declining and a need to find alternatives to landfilling municipal solid waste and a realization that biomass energy doesn't add greenhouse gasses to our atmosphere and the type of technological change we need becomes easier to understand.
Distributed generation system technology, where smaller power plants are located closer to the demand and use locally available resources is the trend for the 21st Century.
Les Blevins, Jr.,
1207 N. 1800 Rd.