Monday, October 22, 2007

10/22/2007 Renewables

The issue of renewable energy actually seems to me to be the most achievable of all the topics we've discussed so far in class. There are a few reasons: in the end, the financial cost is much less when using renewables, people have been researching this very well and it seems like most of the available ideas are well thought out and feasible, people have been working on this apparently since the seventies or eighties, and the equity question seems more easily dealt with when organizing public access to power.

Basic public education on these matters as well as advertising on TV and radio, would initially help to encourage people's interest in switching to renewable energy, both in private homes and businesses and publicly. I feel like once people understand that they will, in the end, save a lot of money, they will be excited and begin the process.

For some reason, I think there has been a lot more solid research into renewable energy sources. Many of the examples proposed in the chapter "Energy Efficiency and Renewables" were presented with concrete examples where they've been used in places.

None of this is all that new, so I'm curious why many things haven't been implemented. Is it like the case of cars and transportation? In that case, people are seemingly addicted to the use of the car and the automobile industry has powerful lobbies. Perhaps energy companies also have such strong lobbies, but the people-addiction problem doesn't exist in the same way.

Really the difference is that switching to renewable energy will not directly and actually change the routines and habits of the people. It will change the way power gets to their homes. I see this as an achievable goal, and I can't figure out why it hasn't happened yet.

No comments: