About

Donn [Dears] is a retired GE Company senior executive specializing in power generation, with extensive international experience. 

He personally visited countries to assess the need for GE Equipment and related services. Some of these were well-developed countries, such as The Netherlands and Australia, while others were developing countries, including, Egypt, Malta, Algeria, and Thailand, to name a few.

In each country where a GE subsidiary was to be established, he worked with government officials to obtain the necessary permissions. In one instance, he met with the Amir of Bahrain, which had only recently become an independent nation, to obtain a charter for a joint venture with a local investor. Later, Donn was involved with the establishment of a subsidiary in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the center of its oil-producing and export facilities adjacent to Bahrain.

While he never proposed establishing a subsidiary in Iran, Donn investigated key areas, such as Ahwaz and Tehran, over a three year period.

Over a four year period, he established GE joint venture companies at twelve locations in eight countries.

Donn began his career at General Electric testing large steam turbines and generators used by utilities to generate electricity. He then spent three years on GE’s prestigious Manufacturing Management Program in diverse businesses, including locomotives, DC motors, medium steam turbines, small jet engines, and naval ordnance. This was followed by five years in manufacturing and marketing assignments at the Transformer Division. 

He then led organizations servicing GE power generation and large equipment in the United States and around the world. 

He also worked with the Nuclear Power Division, which had extensive facilities for demonstrating refueling and the handling of other specialized equipment. The business for which Donn was responsible provided engineering and specialized technicians during the construction of nuclear power plants, and then for services after the plants were operational.

While on active duty in the Navy, he attended the Navy’s Damage Control School, which included instruction on Atomic, Biologic and Chemical warfare, including defending against both above-ground and underwater nuclear explosions. While much has changed, the fundamentals of radiation have not.

Donn was involved with work done at customer locations, such as steel mills, electric utilities, refineries, oil drilling, and open pit and underground mining operations.

He subsequently led an engineering department supporting GE organizations and subsidiaries around the world.

Following his retirement as a senior GE Company executive, he continued to study and write about energy issues. He established TSAugust, a 501 (C) 3 think tank consisting entirely of volunteers. 

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

Donn has been active in the community, serving two terms on the Reston Association’s Board, a large association with over 60,000 residents.

As noted, Donn has traveled extensively, beginning with a year at sea while a 19-year-old midshipman on merchant vessels, where he visited countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. He saw some of these countries while they were just recovering from the war where damage was still highly visible. Bremen, Germany, where vast areas of bombed out buildings had been removed and rebuilding was just beginning. Manila harbor, where the masts and funnels of sunken vessels poked above the surface of the water. 

And Taiwan, where the Nationalists had just retreated from the Mainland with the Communists threatening air raids and invasion.

He continues to travel and has visited over 60 countries on business and for pleasure.

Donn is an engineering graduate, with honors, from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and served on active duty in the US Navy, first as Damage Control Officer, then as Engineering Officer during the Korean war.

Donn blogs, writes articles, and speaks on the issues of climate change and the vital need for low cost, reliable electricity.

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25 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.

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  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!

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  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

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    • September 26, 2013 4:45 pm

      Steven:
      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.

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  4. November 12, 2013 2:13 pm

    CO2 levels are falling per U.S.Information Administration.
    Check out: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10691

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    • 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%.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  6. November 12, 2013 2:57 pm

    Amen!

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  7. December 23, 2013 7:16 am

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

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    • 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.

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  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 http://currmudgeon-patriot.blogspot.com/
    Details ab. Gore: http://currmudgeon-patriot.blogspot.com/2013/08/smart-meters-boondoggle-or-just-slime.html
    Appreciate your work.

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    • 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.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  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.http://yesvy.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-oversold-smart-grid-dismissing-work.html#.VAYxBSiTRYA
    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.

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    • 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.

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  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…

    http://yesvy.blogspot.com/2014/09/welcome-to-new-blogs.html#.VAcr4SiTRYA

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  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?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3584461/Germany-PAYS-people-use-electricity-Excess-energy-created-wind-solar-power-meant-consumers-profit-prices-driven-low-went-NEGATIVE.html

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    • 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.

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