Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Near Future Of Green Energy

By Jerry Dyess

One thing to understand about Americans is we vacation less and tend to often speak only one language. While this differentiates us from the rest of the world, Americans are still concerned about the way the rest of the world sees us. Anyone traveling overseas is stereotyped as an "ugly American," but even more so in today's world due to our over consumption of the world's energy. In fact, according to recent studies, the United States is about 4% of the world's population, but consumes nearly 25% of the world's energy.

Needless to say this is quite embarrassing, especially when you consider most Europeans have cut down on traditional forms of energy. A great example of this is when the European Union announced their plans to reduce CO2 levels by 20% before 2020. This means several companies will have to work together and utilize other forms of energy such as solar and wind. Billions have already been invested in this product by Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands (as well as others), in hopes of changing the world.

Unfortunately the Americans never responded. Instead our politicians are too busy arguing about whether or not the climate change is a factual and viable issue. Until we can reach an agreement, a new legislation will be waiting in the wings. The truth is, they're all simply missing the point. Even if climate change isn't a real issue, the fact that we consume much more energy than we should for our population count has to say something. The easiest way to explain it is it's shameful, and extremely embarrassing. This is even worse considering there are various forms of alternative energy right in front of us, and rather inexpensive.

So what are we supposed to do with all these problems? The first thing is to understand that the citizens of the United States have to make the change themselves. We all have to work hand in hand and do our part to change the environment for the better. All it takes is someone like you to start a cycle, tell all your friends and family, and then hope that they do the same thing. In the end you will save money on bills, help the environment, and feel better about yourself as an American.

Solar Power - Solar electricity panels are the first thing that makes sense since our electricity prices have raised in recent memory. The best part about solar power isn't that it's clean, sustainable and free, but it's very inexpensive to install. Most of the individuals who have been using solar panels already, understand that all of their electricity needs can be met for the most part. We understand solar power doesn't produce electricity without the sun, but they do store power. A lot of this individuals use wind turbines as well.

Wind Turbines - Wind turbines are nothing more than small windmills that are used for producing electricity. As we mentioned, they are also used in combination with solar electricity and they have proved extremely efficient at producing electricity. That is one reason the Europeans have invested so heavily in them. Another reason is that they are cheap. The average home wind turbine can be installed for only a few hundred dollars. They are nearly maintenance free and will produce electricity whenever the wind blows.

Hybrid Cars - While hybrid cars are currently a bit more expensive than average cars, a hybrid owner will quickly realize he made a wise investment when he sees the money he's saving on gasoline. On average, a hybrid owner can expect to save up to $1500 a year on gas. Think about it! That means that if you drive your car for a decade you'll save up to $15,000! itself.

Fluorescent Lights - This may sound crazy, but simply placing your regular lights with fluorescent versions can definitely be more energy efficient. While you may not see a huge decline in your electricity costs upfront, over time you will realize the difference. These can last up to 10,000 hours, which is 10 times more than your average bulb. Best of all they can be recycled when they've been completely used.

Energy Efficient Windows - Believe if or not, most of the heat that is lost from your home during the winter is lost because of poorly constructed windows. Making an investment in energy efficient windows is probably the best thing you can do to instantly lower your heating bill.

In the end it's all about knowing what's out there. If each one of us can utilize just one of these options, the rest of the world will stop thinking we're just ugly Americans. Oh, and we'll help the environment tremendously.

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