In response to your headline story of March 7, regarding energy savings: Conservation is good, but it can't do the whole job.

In response to your headline story of March 7, regarding energy savings: Conservation is good, but it can't do the whole job.

Thanks to improving technology, we can now use distributed, local power sources. It is sad but true that a multi-megawatt plant can be fairly efficient, but half the electricity generated is lost as heat when it travels hundreds of miles to the end users.

Millions of homes and businesses can now mount wind and solar on their rooftops. Small "Focused Solar" generators can achieve 30 percent efficiency, while solar panels are still at about 15 percent. Rooftop vertical axis wind turbines are not ugly or noisy (Some are even quite elegant), don't kill birds and pay off pretty quickly. Now that millions of people in India and China are driving cars, oil and coal are going get a lot more expensive real soon. Checked the price at the pump recently?

Of course, the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind fades away, so we will still need power plants that will be on line when needed. And — surprise! — I actually found something John McCain and I can agree on: mini-nukes, like the Navy has been using for more than 50 years. Small, relatively cheap, can't go "China-Syndrome."

Thanks to eight Republicans with morals, we got New START to add on to Reagan's original nuclear arms reduction treaty. Did you know that about 30 percent of the nuclear power in the U.S. comes from decommissioned Russian warheads? We will soon have thousands more bombs to dismantle, and enough uranium and plutonium to power the country for decades, until wind and solar are fully up to speed. Better to use it up — safely — than just sit on it.

And the mini-nukes don't take decades, and billions of dollars, to get started. We could even use some from ships we don't need anymore.

Radiation? Nonsense. They are so well-shielded sailors can work nearby; less radiation than you get by flying at 30,000 feet in a commercial jet.

A few VAWT rooftop wind power sources available now:

Enviro Energies Wind Lotus and Wind Tulip Clarian technologies (plug-in) Statoelien (very large, from Gual Industrie, France) — SOU, or office buildings? roofwind.com Jellyfish small wind turbine (plug-in) Supa-Flo small wind turbine — looks like an attic vent Windation — looks like a rooftop air conditioner

Peter Nemzek

Ashland