I’m Hans. Born, raised & educated in upstate NY, USA. After university (Bachelor’s degree in engineering & sciences), I moved to California and worked with several of the largest electric utilities;(PG&E, SDG&E and SPPC/Nevada Power) in the country. Not as an electrician or engineer, but rather within their USD $100m/yr, or more, vegetation management programs; learning and patrolling 1000s of miles of overhead power lines, experiencing generation schemes and customer needs first hand.
Outside training my fellow foresters, I broke new ground and developed protocols for system-wide implementation based on the simple concept of bringing all interested parties together and forging mutually beneficial agreements for all. They worked, very well. After I left, I was asked back on several occasions to assist during critical program milestones.
After chasing personal interests throughout the American West, living in Colorado, I settled in Oregon, building a residential tree pruning/removal start-up as a financial backstop to pursuing a nursing degree. I loved biology and chemistry, thrive under the demands of making life & death decisions quickly, and wanted to travel the world as a nurse in an ER/ICU capacity.
I recently responded to a post on LinkedIn in the “Energy Innovation by Statoil” group about wind turbines being “unappealing” visually within the discussion brought about by a completely wide-open question “How do you feel about wind farms?”
Obviously, that is a subjective question, setting the stage for far ranging arguments lacking substantiated reasoning. This being akin to the common misunderstanding of billowing exhaust plumes at power plants thought to be laden with green house gases, pollution and toxic chemicals. The reality being, most of the visible “offenses” are waste heat removal through water evaporation cooling, not the invisible fossil fuel combustion effluent as commonly believed.
It was also stated, wind farms can be the cause of drought, which initially caught me off guard as I have lived and breathed water issues the past 20 years and it is a major determinant in my self assessed classification as “A Westerner”. Water is in our blood, both figuratively and literally. A transplant, to the western US, can be easily identified based on their lack of understanding and comprehension of where their water comes from and exactly how precious it is to maintaining our lifestyles. “Water Wars” are not just some future post apocalyptic scenario, they have been fought for over a century here in the United States.
I will be traveling around Europe for 3 months starting August 6th. So it is not all “fun and games”, I plan to dedicate substantial time to a personal project focused on energy supply and need, Europe as a case study.
It centers around a theory linking the successes [and shortcomings] in the transition towards more balanced energy portfolios; including renewable sources, as fueled by a home grown cultural “energy awareness”.
This may seem a “no-brainer” to Europeans experiencing it, however it is a significant departure from the realities present in the US and struggling to be realized around the globe.
I also see commonalities in regional scarcities experienced historically throughout the EU, as significant limitations & realities to developing/under developed nations worldwide.
A nice highlight of some of the key differences between the US model and that of the Danes, although this could be said of the European models in general.
How long until we recognize a focus on communal efforts for collective gains as opposed to idolizing individual achievements results in better overall outcome?
What I have seen working with global leaders in their industries here in the US is more consistent with the European business and social cultures, a drive for efficiency and a greater prioritization on accountability.