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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:18 AM

Q: What would happen to electricity if Hurricane Sandy hit the Netherlands? A: Nothing.


http://www.latitudenews.com/story/q-what-would-happen-to-electricity-if-hurricane-sandy-hit-the-netherlands-a-nothing/

In Wessel Bakker’s hometown of Gouda, the Netherlands (like the cheese), there are wooden utility poles like the ones downed by Hurricane Sandy. But in Gouda, the structures are more nostalgia than infrastructure.

“In my neighborhood — it’s a small, nice town — there are the last remaining wooden poles,” said Bakker, Regional Director of Electricity Transmission and Distribution for DNV KEMA, an energy consulting, testing and certification company. “ have been marked as a landscape monument.”

These are not simply the last remaining utility poles in Gouda. They are just about “the only poles left in the country,” said Bakker. “Maybe there are two or three more locations.”

Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the coast, thousands of people still don’t have power. Many are living in shelters because their homes lack heat, hot water and electricity, while thousands more have completely lost their homes. The storm took over 100 lives.

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Reply Q: What would happen to electricity if Hurricane Sandy hit the Netherlands? A: Nothing. (Original post)
eridani Nov 2012 OP
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #1
pnwmom Nov 2012 #2
cali Nov 2012 #3
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #4
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #11
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #13
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #15
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #16
pnwmom Nov 2012 #6
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #12
pnwmom Nov 2012 #20
Jack Sprat Nov 2012 #24
newfie11 Nov 2012 #7
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #23
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #5
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #10
Pholus Nov 2012 #8
AndyA Nov 2012 #9
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #14
RC Nov 2012 #17
Kaleva Nov 2012 #18
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #19
Glassunion Nov 2012 #21
librechik Nov 2012 #22
Hekate Nov 2012 #25

Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:30 AM

1. Pretty much the same in the UK

except for the pylons which carry the national grid but then Holland has obviously got those too.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:58 AM

2. What about flooding? That caused loss of power in areas served by underground wires. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:02 AM

3. They have some serious flood control

Modern developments
Map showing a large lake, with the dams and the polders that were built
The Zuiderzee Works turned the Zuiderzee into a fresh water lake IJsselmeer, and created 1650 km˛ of land.

Technological development in the twentieth century meant that larger projects could be undertaken to further improve the safety against flooding and to reclaim large areas of land. The most important are the Zuiderzee Works and the Delta Works. By the end of the twentieth century all sea inlets have been closed off from the sea by dams and barriers. Only the Westerschelde needs to remain open for shipping access to the port of Antwerp. Plans to reclaim (parts of) the Wadden Sea and the Markermeer were eventually called off because of the ecological and recreational values of these waters.
Zuiderzee Works
Main article: Zuiderzee Works

The Zuiderzee Works (Zuiderzeewerken) are a man-made system of dams, land reclamation and water drainage works. The basis of the project was the damming off of the Zuiderzee, a large shallow inlet of the North Sea. This dam, called the Afsluitdijk, was built in 1932-33, separating the Zuiderzee from the North Sea. As result, the Zuider sea became the IJsselmeer — IJssel lake.

Following the damming, large areas of land were reclaimed in the newly freshwater lake body by means of polders. The works were performed in several steps from 1920 to 1975. Engineer Cornelis Lely played a major part in its design and as statesman authorisation of its construction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control_in_the_Netherlands

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Response to cali (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:15 AM

4. If a big enough storm comes in at the right direction, even that can be overwhelmed.

Especially with rising sea levels.
The Dutch are much better equipped to handle that but it cost them a bundle that the U.S. so far hasn't been willing to spend.
Damn near all of Holland is below sea level-think New Orleans on a countrywide scale.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:09 AM

11. Did you read the article? The Netherlands is prepared for "a 10,000-year flood."

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:11 AM

13. That means chance of 1 in 10,000 years. It doesn't mean it can't happen next year.

That's what probality theory means.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:12 AM

15. OFGS. And also NS, Sherlock. In which case, we're all on the Titanic, so why do anything, right?

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:18 AM

16. "What does it all mean, Mr. Natural?"

One can take reasonable precautions but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
I learned a long time ago that when your number comes up, there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
All you can do is try to make the odds as favorable as possible.

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Response to cali (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:24 AM

6. Yes, they do. They're a tiny country that could easily be underwater.

It wouldn't make sense for us to copy their infrastructure. We just have to improve our own.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:10 AM

12. Did you read the article? The Netherlands is prepared for "a 10,000-year flood."

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:34 PM

20. Yes, I did. Of course, a 10,000 year flood is probably a 100 year flood these days

And a 100 year flood is a three year flood.

But the point remains that we are a vastly larger country and most of the US is not below sea level -- so we don't need and can't afford the same level of preparation as The Netherlands.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:06 PM

24. No matter how positive

 

you try to be, we will always have the nay-sayers holding back progress. They don't want to examine the possibilities, consider them, or even welcome mention of them.

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Response to cali (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:29 AM

7. See what is possible in America

If we would stop blowing money on wars! And if our congress wasn't bought and paid for by "them".

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:41 PM

23. That would be contrary to policy.

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:16 AM

5. Why does the Netherlands discriminate agains the Poles?

It's an outrage!

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:04 AM

10. lol

 

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:34 AM

8. Teapublicans would protect phone poles like incandescent bulbs....

It's un-American to want to get rid of the phone poles we've always had.

The 1950's were JUST FINE thank you.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:00 AM

9. To upgrade the infrastructure, they would have to raise rates

to customers to cover the costs. Otherwise, the CEO's of the big power companies would have to take a pay cut. Gotta consider the priorities, you know. It's not patriotic to expect the CEO's to suffer, which they would if they couldn't maintain their luxurious lifestyles.

Thousands of customers without power is a small price to pay so the important people can have the luxuries they worked so hard for all these years.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:12 AM

14. Maybe we ought to have a Ten-Year Project, a la JFK and the Moon.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:51 AM

17. If we can build the Interstate Highway system and put a men on the moon, why can't we upgrade our

 

power grid to put a cushion in its load carrying capacity? Instead dropping the voltage down to 93 volts due to the heavy loads of air conditioners in Kansas City, as they did when the temperatures reached 110°+ last Summer.
With the sole exception of Google Fiber in select areas, why can't we at least match the rest of the civilized world in Internet speed?
As large as our country is, why are we still using 150 year old technology for our rail roads that limit trains to 60 MPH and slower, even in the wide open parts of the country?

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Response to RC (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:28 AM

18. About 100 billion a year would do it

in conjunction with gradually raising the tax on gas by 70 cents a gallon over a ten year period of time and raising the tax on electricity and phone services.

This money would be used to make repairs and improvements on the interstate highway system, funding high speed rail projects on the west coast and in the north east, adequately fund Amtrack, modernize the national electrical grid system, make improvements to our communications and to fund the construction of renewable energy sources such as solar, geo-thermal, bio-gas and wind.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:33 AM

19. That may be, but their rich are too poor and their poor too rich

All that lovely money they wasted on making sure common people could have electricity after a storm could have gone into the pockets of the 1% who know how to properly appreciate such gifts.




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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:05 PM

21. What we need is a study that is not funded by electric companies.

Currently the only study that I'm aware of, was done by the Edison Electric Institute. In that study, there are some costs associated, that I cannot see as being that accurate.

The problem is that they look at the problem on too short of a term. They take the miles of lines and simply multiply it by the cost per foot and say it cannot be done. OMG there is like 5.9 million miles of distribution lines and it costs "up to" $2.1 million per mile to bury lines, and that's like $12.4 trillion dollars that would have to be poured onto our customers at a rate of $108,684 per customer!!!! It can't be done!

What can be done, is starting where burying lines will make a difference. Earthquake prone areas of the country actually benefit (slightly) from having above ground lines. However areas prone to high wind storms or icing would benefit by burying the lines. Start small, and gradually update the infrastructure, eventually at some point down the road (hell maybe 60-80-100 years) all of your lines are buried.

What I rarely see addressed is how much money could be recovered by recycling the existing overhead systems. Everything from the poles, wires, transformers, etc... can be salvaged. Also what would the utilities save every year in overhead maintenance by not having to trim trees, replace poles, etc? I'm sure there are maintenance costs involved with underground systems, but I have never seen a study comparing the two.

Yes, it is incredibly expensive, but when taken in baby steps and insuring all new lines are buried sooner or later it can be done, with minimal cost increases.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:09 PM

22. hell no, we'd rather have millions in prison and unemployed than give anyone a job digging

cable trenches. or helping with any other infrastructure. The Repubs in charge are going to nickel and dime us into the grave. They won't allow us to be sensible because that's that word they hate--you know, the c word--COMMUNITY --or COMMON GOOD

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:41 PM

25. For centuries, Holland was known as The Lowlands

Reclaiming land from the sea and protecting it from the sea is a way of life for the Dutch, and always has been.

After the Katrina disaster and the drowning of New Orleans, some photos were posted here of Dutch dikes -- absolute marvels of modern engineering -- in answer to (some) DUer handwringing that "nothing could be done to prevent this, the sea's gonna rise." The Dutch don't take that for an answer, and never have.

It's not limited to New Orleans, either. Sacramento California has an extensive delta system, and afaik it still has old agricultural levees in place -- it's just ripe for disaster right here in the Golden State. Of course in our case, we might be "saved" by desertification and drought.

It's gotten to the point that when politicians and their yahoo followers chant "USA!USA! America's the greatest country in the world!" it kind of makes me itch. Frankly, my country has gotten "fat, dumb, and happy" as my late Dad used to say of those who wouldn't shift for themselves and get the necessary done. Those who are not low-information voters know there are solutions out there in Public Works Engineer Land, but it will take politicians admitting there is a problem and then actually spending money lavishly and intelligently. Wouldn't hurt to ask the Dutch about their dikes, either.

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