Our natural gas and electricity providers are proposing major installations in Holmdel that are of concern to many residents who will be adversely impacted and should be of concern to residents in most of Monmouth County.
New Jersey Natural Gas wants to locate a regulator station on the west side of Holmdel Road, and Jersey Central Power & Light wants to run a high-voltage power line along the railroad tracks in Holmdel. Both are based on the assumption of a need to accommodate significant expansions of demand in Holmdel and surrounding towns.
However, anyone receiving advice from market gurus is receiving alerts these days to a real breakthrough in solar power panels and back-up battery technology that will make solar power so inexpensive, capable and reliable that solar power is projected to replace existing power sources in a few years. The new panels, which use tiny grains of sand, make them a source of power good for thousands of years.
The assumption of growth in demand for electric and/or natural gas power is also at odds with the impact of the retirement of the Baby Boomers (BBs). When we came home after World War II, we made up for not having children during the war. The birth rate for a fixed number of women of the reproductive age has been, during the years from 1970 to today, only slightly more than one half the rate of the peak in 1955 (new birth control capabilities also play a role in holding the rate down).
This means that, if one plots the population as a function of age, the BBs constitute a bubble with a peak at about age 61 today. The retirement of the BBs will mean and is presently causing a reduction in demand for goods and services (spending is reduced as one retires), and some argue that it will cause a major recession starting soon.
The increasing availability of inexpensive and clean energy, along with the likely impact on our economy of the retirement of the BBs, are good reasons why neither of the above-mentioned proposals by our power providers should be approved.
Larry M. Smith