Alternative Energy

I’m an investor in alternative energy.  And I’m a consumer of it.  We haven’t done anything extravagant like install solar panels or a wind turbine on our property.  Or tried turning all the horse manure we collect into biodiesel.  However, we do pay our local electric co-op a fee so they can buy "Green Power", which in this case primarily means wind power, equivalent to our average monthly use.   As a techie I’m perhaps over-enamored of the "learning curve" concept, but driving wind power down the learning curve was our objective in becoming early adopters.  It’s working.  The price per Green Power Unit we’ve been paying has come down dramatically over few years we’ve participated.  I’m sorry to say that "saving the planet", while a big and desirable bonus, was not our (at least not my) prime motivator.  We need abundant and reliable energy supply at reasonable (note: not unnecessarily cheap) prices.  Adding Wind and Solar to the mix helps achieve that.  Oh, and it helps save the planet too.

One surprise I’ve had is just how few of the local co-op’s customers actually buy Green Power Units.  For $10-20 a month a homeowner can drive the move to greater use of wind, solar, and other "green" sources of power.  You don’t have to put thousands into installing solar panels or a wind turbine yourself.  Or whine to government officials to force something that will ultimately turn out to be a big mistake (like the premature acceleration of adoption of corn-based Ethanol).  You can just take matters into your own hands.  It’s painless.  It’s not free, but it is pretty inexpensive.  Why don’t more people put their money where their mouth is?

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