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Using knowledge gained from a lifetime of activity working in the energy arena, Donn writes for Power For USA.

Donn began his career at General Electric testing large steam turbines and generators used by utilities to generate electricity; followed, by manufacturing and marketing assignments at the Transformer Division. Later he led an organization servicing these and other GE products in the United States. He then established facilities around the world to service power generation, transmission and other electric equipment. Donn was involved with the work done at customer locations; steel mills, electric utilities, refineries, oil drilling and production facilities and open pit and underground mining operations. At every opportunity, he learned of the needs of these industries.

Donn has toured Saudi Arabia including a close-up inspection of the eastern province with its oil producing and shipping facilities. He has investigated many of the other oil producing countries in the Mideast and Northern Europe, as well as examining iron-ore mining locations and major shipping centers in Europe and Asia. All told, Donn has visited over 50 countries and has knowledge of their need for the technologies that can improve their well being and their use of equipment manufactured in the United States.

Following his retirement as a senior GE Company executive, he continued to study and write about energy issues. Before retiring as president of TSAugust, a 501 (C) 3 think tank comprised entirely of volunteers, he wrote for tsaugust.

He has written two books as well as various papers and articles. He also speaks about energy issues at professional meetings, at conferences, and on cruise ships.

Donn has been active in the community, serving two terms on the board of the Reston Association, the second largest such association with over 60,000 residents.

Donn is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. August 26, 2010 5:13 pm

    Dear Donn,

    I am just skimmed through a blog and I am really impressed. I know a reasonable amount about all the subjects you have discussed and there is nothing that you have said that I would argue with.

    What you are saying is plain common sense and it is supported by the evidence. Comments like these are in short supply these days.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,

    Bryan Leyland, Consulting Engineer, New Zealand.

  2. October 18, 2010 2:11 pm

    What a great, informative blog that is so well written. I love that you have a specific audience in mind and really “speak” to them. Keep it up!

    • October 18, 2010 3:21 pm

      Many thanks. I appreciate your comment.

      • Lucas permalink
        October 2, 2021 4:42 pm

        Hey Donn, we MISS your articles. How about writing again?

  3. September 26, 2013 1:12 am

    Aloha Donn:
    Got latest blog today: “Carbon Gauntlet.” As I was reading first chapters, I remembered transporting a Saudi Arabian couple and their children from cruise ship to Mama’s Fish House, a famous restaurant here on Maui, HI. I thought she looked like a “princess” and told her so. She said she was in fact, a Saudi Princess from Saudi Arabia; her husband – I don’t remember his social status. Anyway, I learned that she worked for Karebone in NYC. So, I googled Karbone and discovered it exists to create and game the carbon market. Just the incredibly rich people for whom Al Gore and his cronies were/are writing laws that will allow them to legally steal from the poor and give to the rich. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Especially when the rich can buy politicians who will write laws that allow them to gather the money from others – into their holdings, legally, like Karbone.

    If you haven’t seen their website, it will only take a few minutes for you to figure out their game – pretty much exactly as you outlined in Carbon Gauntlet. It looks to me, with the limited knowledge and experience I have, that the oil-rich Saudi’s are keeping their fingers in the pie, no matter whose or what the pie.

    I accidentally unsubscribed to your blog earlier and had to resubscribe. I appreciate your perspicacity and articulate presentations; as well as vast and varied background.

    Now, after reading just some of your “Carbon Gauntlet,” I understand why the current investors in the HER energy devices: ZED and TAZ, are willing to put up millions of $$.
    They have already sold the entire first years production and haven’t even started building them. It is of this reason, I feel I need to find an investor here in Hawaii willing to get involved so we can build a factory in Hawaii and start building our own models, ASAP. Otherwise, we stay a few years down the pipeline – waiting for product.

    I know you would never get involved, even though, from everything you’ve outlined and then thoroughly explained; the ZED is exactly what worldwide society needs, right now.
    A hui ho’u,
    Steven Blue

    • September 26, 2013 4:45 pm

      Thanks for your comments. You are correct in that I don’t get involved with VC type investments, but I hope you are successful.
      Saudi Arabia is an interesting situation, even given their interest in carbon and gaming the carbon market.
      I’ll post an article in the next week or so to discuss why it’s advantageous for Saudi Arabia to invest in concentrating solar to generate electricity.
      Thanks for subscribing.

  4. November 12, 2013 2:13 pm

    CO2 levels are falling per U.S.Information Administration.
    Check out:

    • November 12, 2013 2:32 pm

      Yes, but nowhere near enough to meet the 80% target.
      They are slightly below their high in 2004, but must fall approximately another 77%.

  5. November 12, 2013 2:42 pm

    So, as we’re in such a rush, let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Let’s also disregard China, India and Brazils’ role while crippling America.

    • November 12, 2013 2:55 pm

      We shouldn’t be trying to cut CO2 emissions, other than those that happen naturally with the shift to natural gas for power generation. We are making a huge mistake trying to follow the President’s plan to cut CO2 emissions.

  6. November 12, 2013 2:57 pm


  7. December 23, 2013 7:16 am

    Good stuff, Donn! I’d be interested in cross-posting some of your pieces at if you’re interested.

    • December 23, 2013 8:27 am

      Please go ahead and cross post whatever you are interested in. My only caveat is that Power For USA is referenced.
      Many thanks.

  8. December 23, 2013 12:27 pm

    A mention of Al Gore reminded me that he/his firm are big investors in Itron, one of the major Smart Meter manufacturers.
    What is your take on Smart Meters?
    Mine is clearly spelled out in
    Details ab. Gore:
    Appreciate your work.

    • December 23, 2013 6:20 pm

      Thanks for your information.
      Smart meters can perform functions that are useful to the utility. For example, they can help identify location of faults. They also eliminate the need for meter readers which is a large cost savings, which should, but doesn’t, eliminate the need for public funding to install them.
      I do not believe they pose a health risk any more than WIFI, power lines or any other similar radio or electromagnetic radiation does.
      They have been over hyped as being a key component to the smart grid, which has also been over hyped.

  9. December 24, 2013 6:16 am

    All you say is true, however the Smart Meter’s two-way feature permits utility to control usage – as example to ‘tune’ your thermostat.
    Monitoring activity at 15 minute intervals seems an excessive invasion of privacy.
    We now have a ‘semi’ Smart Meter -which transmits usage info -still has 20 years of useful life -and it will be discarded -no meter reader comes to our doors.
    But the worst part is that the cost will soar as is revealed in Maine’s experience. There cost savings have turned into significant losses, requiring increased rates.
    Time-of-use pricing is said to be the biggest benefit, yet when Germany studied them, they rejected Smart Meters as the potential costs are mostly borne by home owners with potential savings going to industry.
    Has any state actually studied their cost/benefits -Our Pennsylvania did not, before rushing through a law which mandates their implementation.

    • December 24, 2013 9:28 am

      Thanks. Good observations. Time of use pricing won’t help people very much. I’ve written several times that there’s not much people can shift to off peak hours.

  10. December 24, 2013 10:54 am

    Which is why Germany has rejected them and Maine is finally investigating their failed promise. 14 states permit opt-outs; I’m working t remove PA’s mandate -They were never investigated.

  11. September 2, 2014 5:08 pm

    Hi. I have two comments.
    1) I wrote about this overselling of the smart grid last year, in my blog post: The Oversold Smart Grid: Dismissing the Work of Women.
    2) I just added this blog to the Yes Vermont Yankee blog roll, but it doesn’t update! It seems to think the last post was three months ago. Can you give any help on this. Thanks.

    • September 3, 2014 8:59 am

      Thanks for your comments.
      Unfortunately i don’t know why there is such a delay in the post on your site. When it comes to social media and the web, I always need help.

  12. September 3, 2014 10:58 am

    Thank heavens, it seems to be updating now. This is a mystery to me, also.

    Did I write that I featured/reviewed your blog on my latest post? I don’t remember if I did. Here it is, if I didn’t…

  13. arn johnson permalink
    May 11, 2016 9:18 am

    How would you explain this article about Germany’s cost of electricity being reduced due to renewable sources vs. your long standing metric that Germany’s electricity is up to 5 times the cost of energy in the U.S. due to renewables?

    • May 11, 2016 9:35 am

      The article referred to a brief moment when renewables accounted for 87% of the total electricity usage. For that brief period of time, the public should have received a credit. But for the entire year, renewables only accounted for 25% (perhaps slightly more this year) of generation, and the cost of electricity to consumers were 4 to 5 times that of US consumers.
      At other times during the year, renewables would account for 80% or so, of generation, for a few minutes, but these momentary spikes are not meaningful when viewed in context of the entire year.

  14. Jo McAn permalink
    October 15, 2017 1:48 pm

    Are you Donn Dears?
    Why aren’t all factors figured into your costs of wind energy vs. fossil fuel? Cost of coal minors health being detrimental and not just their lungs. Plus now the EPA is reducing the safety protections sorely needed to protect our people, fellow human beings. This is another reason why our cost of health care & insurance will rise. (Also the increase cost of health care is paid mostly be the employees now since management hasn’t enough sense [or is that only cents that owners care] to protect there biggest asset.
    You wrote of the cost of upkeep for wind. Every energy source has costs to maintain. Pipe lines that won’t last forever, there decay will cause concerns for our water; another reason we will have increase cost in health care. What if nuclear power plants didn’t do their maintenance? Or shall we have another Love Canal?
    I don’t think anyone believes wind is going to our sole source of energy. The referral of the cost of transmission line needed, is interesting. Cost of energy of the power generate by Niagara Falls at first seemed extremely high but the people, especially in Lower New York, needed an answer. This was part of the solution.
    We need to look to the future as our needs increase. While the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is catchy, we need not go back to our old ways. Isn’t that why regulars came about is the first place. Science also needs to part of our solution.
    Profits over people shouldn’t be our way of thinking. Looking back on history when owner/management took advantage of their workers, isn’t that why unions came about?? {Greed is why, it needs to be kept into check.} What ever happen to being a ‘Kinder, gentiler nations?’
    Who pays for your web site and your salary? We all have biases, but I enjoy breathing fresh air, drinking unpolluted water; after all these are basic requirements of live which we all should have a right to enjoy. I believe that’s part of our makeup, the right to pursue happiness. As far as our future, I hope & pray that my grandchildren have a country worth living & working in, with clean air & water.

  15. October 4, 2020 6:53 pm

    Mr Dears, I am ashamed of you for the statement that all facts are accurate. When you wrote in Appendix B that there were 55 reported deaths from Chrenoble radiation leak, and did not include the thousands predicted to die from the effects is ridiculous.
    And why did you not include the Crystal River Nuke plant, and the billion dollar mistake that caused it to be shut down. No problem with radiation, just design failure
    And you never mentioned the huge problem of nuclear waste…

    • October 4, 2020 8:09 pm

      Thanks for your comments.
      First, with respect to Chernobyl. Yes there were predictions, but that doesn’t mean there actually were deaths. The UNSCEAR UN study showed virtually no deaths nearly 50 years after the event. Radiation near the site is no higher than elsewhere in the world.
      Nuclear waste is a political, not an engineering or health problem. The repository at YUCCA Mountain would safely store the radiated materials but politicians use it as a political football rather than as a solution. Storage in casks are safe, but not a good long term solution. There is no danger from Crystal River. It operated safely for 33 years before the problem with delamination of the structure occurred.
      Please read the UNSCEAR report to get the best facts on the situation. There may have been more deaths since their report, but not many. I take great care to be certain my facts are accurate when I write my articles. You have read and old article. Please go to and sign in to get my articles when they are published.

  16. waynelusvardi permalink
    August 22, 2021 2:24 pm

    Mr Dears
    I’m sorry but I have to tell you I found Meredith Angwin’s book Shorting the Grid to be green industry propaganda. She says what many conservatives want to hear but her policy solutions are more unreliable green grids and Capacity Markets. Most of her book is haf truths and flawed data analysis. Read my review at LINK BELOW
    Wayne Lusvardi
    San Antonio, Texas


    • August 22, 2021 2:47 pm

      OK, thanks for your comments. I really didn’t see her book in that light, as she was supporting nuclear power. My book, The Looming Energy Crisis, viewed the issue from the point of view that climate change is not due to CO2, and that CO2 is essential to life on Earth.

  17. July 4, 2022 12:53 pm

    Thanks. Interesting.


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