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The Benefits of New Energy Technology

Dear Source:

It is pleasing to see that more people are taking the time to write in and share their opinions on how we can produce more affordable energy for all the Virgin Islands. Mr. John Wilsbach wrote and touted the sensible alternative of incineration of our trash to create energy. Some weeks ago, I wrote on the same subject as I feel that an investment in trash-to-energy plants makes clear sense for the Virgin Islands. Mr. Wilsbach is correct when he writes that these types of industrial plants are both safe and efficient. Not only can we produce energy from trash, we can make additional profits on the very saleable by-products of the burning process. What we need now is the will of the people to make it become a reality.
Recently, WAPA advertised for proposals from anyone who could come up with alternative ideas to help us all save energy. I believe the answer is not only additional power plants and private users giving back to the grid but the addition of trash-to-energy plants which can solve our trash woes as well. WAPA seems intent on allowing only smaller users to enter into the power production game. They have stated that 10 MW is the maximum acceptable proposal. Our trash can produce a minimum of 30% of all our
power needs, perhaps more depending on the system used. Why wouldn't WAPA want to have a system that can greatly save on precious fossil fuel? Surely, one would think that WAPA would want to partner with any firm that can help drive down the cost of energy production throughout the Virgin Islands, thus saving huge amounts on energy bills. Trash-to energy is certainly the answer as we create enough trash per day to continue keeping the fires burning and creating energy well into the future. Yes, there will be an investment but I believe such an investment now will provide us enormous energy savings and profits.
I would suggest that the WMA submit a proposal to WAPA where they can provide energy in much greater amounts than WAPA requested and at the same time solve the federal mandate to rid ourselves of the landfills and provide a convenient and profitable way to get rid of our trash. This is not new technology, it has been around since the late 1970's and, as the world tries to lose its dependence on fossil fuel, trash-to-energy has become an enormous world-wide alternative. With great strides in technology, trash-to-energy plants have become a more and more acceptable and viable alternative. Most European countries and many states are now using this technology as a means to reduce fossil fuel dependence. The Virgin Islands should do the same.

Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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