Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on January 12, 2012
The crux of a shift in the economy of this country is the shift from coal and oil-supplied energy to clean sources. It is my theory that providing energy affordably, without the damaging effects to the environment will:
1. Provide safer jobs to many more Americans than the present oil/coal industries
2. Give Americans less expensive options for heating/cooling their homes and running their cars
3. Stave off the progressive deterioration of our ozone layer, slowing the increase in greenhouse temperatures
4. Provide a long-term solution to expanding energy needs, with a sustainable future
People often scoff at the idea of removing oil and coal from the energy equation. They simply do not believe it is possible. The reality is: we already have the head start on the technology to do what most people think is impossible. With a little education, and the political will, we can envision and create a future of energy independence.
Our energy independence is not only crucial to a healthy economy and a healthier ecology, it is also a matter of national security. We simply can not ignore this fact.
It is time to start introducing these technologies to the general public, in a way that will shape political policy in the near future. I apologize ahead of time for not being from academia, but any or all of the technologies I introduce over the next month should answer the question: how will we replace oil, coal, and nuclear and still meet all of our energy needs?
Distributed Generation is the term used to describe systems where homeowners may generate electricity using solar, hydro, wind, geothermal or biomass, then receive a credit at the end of a fiscal year if they used less energy than they consumed. Often this type of credit-at-year-end accounting is called “net metering.” Many states have municipalities or statewide DG programs already underway, notably Texas, New York, Arizona, Wisconsin (though not with net metering), Ohio, California and others.
This is just the beginning of a multiple-part series on alternative energies. Keep coming back for more information.