The first is a plan thought up by Bruce McFadden over at Docudharma. His idea is to create a backbone energy corridor along freight lines to transport stranded wind.Another of interest is a plan to reduce energy consumption in 10 years through transport electrification, mostly by electrifying the freight lines by granting property tax waivers for railroads that electrify. It also includes more rail transit and trolleybuses. Alan Drake discusses that plan over at Light Rail Now! I'm not sure how feasible it is, but its an interesting idea to ponder.
It should, I hope, be clear that much of the best resource is in areas that do not have the highest electricity consumption. And at the same time, that is a lot of the terrain that the transcontinental freight rail must traverse to get where its going. And, at the same time, we desperately need to get the main freight rail trunk lines electrified, by hook or by crook. Ergo, I got a grossly oversimplified policy proposal to present.
- The Federal Government invests in publicly owned infrastructure to electrify the main railroad
- In return, the owners of the right of way cede use of the right of way above the part that they need to public use, together with access to the ground level right of way for support structures
- That right of way is used to establish long distance High Voltage DC trunk lines to bring sustainable energy from the places that have it to places the need it
- In areas where there is a commercial wind resource, the usage rights above those trunk lines are available to be leased out for wind farm operators, with the lease payments rolled back into the funding for the program
Some answers to some challenges to the proposal, after the fold.
Monday, April 21, 2008
There is a lot of talk here of passenger rail but little discussion of freight. I can't say that I know about the business that much but I wanted to share a few ideas that I had seen that look promising.