Daily Archives: 07/12/2005

Sea Breezes

I know I mentioned John Craven in passing last month. He’s the guy peddling the idea of deep sea cooling to provide air conditioning for large buildings. It’s an interesting idea, and Guam is looking into developing the idea for the Tumon Bay tourist district. At last month’s Pacific Islands Environmental Conference, the Guam Power Authority announced a feasibility study for sea water cooling in Tumon Bay. Here’s the write-up from the Marianas Variety.

Tumon identified as pilot area for deep-sea water cooling system
by Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Variety News Staff

The Guam Power Authority is conducting a feasibility study on the possibility of providing seawater to major hotels and business establishments along Tumon Bay.

The envisioned technology, GPA explains, involves “sea-water distribution system.”

“GPA will aggressively move forward on this project contingent to result of the detailed feasibility study and financing,” GPA states in its position paper presented to the 24th Pacific Islands Environmental Conference at the Guam Hilton Spa. The conference will be concluded today.

“Sea water air conditioning takes advantages of available deep cold sea-water instead of energy-intensive refrigeration systems to cool the chilled water in one or more buildings,” GPA’s paper explains.

GPA said preliminary investigation has identified Tumon Bay as the site of the proposed project because its location has “good access to deep water and high air-conditioning utilization.”

GPA said the proposed project is aimed at reducing Guam’s dependency on fossil fuels for electric energy production, while at the same time reducing the environmental effects of using fuels.

“GPA will achieve this goal through the applications of innovative renewable technologies to satisfy large consumer end use requirements for air conditioning,” GPA stated. “With increasing fuel prices and GPA’s dependency on foreign oil, this project is the first step in major strategic initiative.”

GPA said the proposed project seeks to reduce electric energy production for air conditioning use by 41 million kWh in the first year of operation and to maintain the low production for the next 75 years.

This goal translates to annual reduction in GPA’s consumption of approximately 1.6 million gallons of diesel fuel oil and 1.5 million gallons of residual fuel oil, GPA said.

The development of renewable energy projects is one of the options being pursued by many Pacific islands to supplement their fuel supply.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that Pacific nations and insular territories explore the option of producing biodiesel from coconut and vegetable oils as an alternative source of energy for the region.

The Pacific Islands Environmental Conference is jointly hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Islands Office, Guam EPA, CNMI’s Division of Environmental Quality, and the American Samoa EPA.

Delegates to the conference yesterday watched the Pacific premier of “The Great Warming,” a documentary on climate change that incorporates the views of 20 top scientists.

In other local environmental news, there was a piece in today’s Pacific Daily News on several new companies on Guam offering recycling services for glass, cardboard, newspaper, car batteries and electronics. This is a good development, I have about four junked old computers and several printers lying around my house. Now I can get them recycled, and get some cash back to boot.

Diamond Age

I found a couple interviews with Jared Diamond, author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel floating out there on the internet. Seems he’s making the rounds, promoting both his new book and a new television series.

I enjoy reading Diamond, he is more optimistic than another cohort of the doom brigade, James Kunstler. At least Diamond offers the possibility of avoiding a collapse; Kunstler is stuck on ‘bend over and kiss your ass goodbye,’ which is a bit of a downer after awhile.

I’ve been meaning to buy Collapse, I really enjoyed his earlier work. It made my head swim with possibilities. What could history have been like if Europe remained a backwater? It’s an interesting premise, and one that is explored thoroughly in Kim Stanley Robinson’s alternate history, The Years of Rice and Salt. In that novel, 99% of Europe’s population is destroyed by the plague in the 1300’s. Instead of European ascendance, Islam and China become the dueling powers in this alternate history. It’s a fascinating book which plays with conceptions of science, culture, history and religion. The twists of fate that brought us to the world today are infinite, this book offers a tantalizing glimpse of what might have been.