Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sensible Energy Alternatives for America 

Once in a while USA Today actually publishes an article that runs to the core of what makes America the power house it is today. The ability for individuals to go out there and create something new and compelling from the edge of what society is told is its only choices.

And exploiting the natural resources that America is so blessed with. While on the one hand big businesses are garnering huge government subsidies for invasive project to erect land-based wind mines in ecologically sensitive mountain areas (see http://uswindpower.info) - other thinking people are seeing that small delivery at point of use makes total sense!

Right now this is somewhat of a cottage industry by fervent and creative individuals - but that is of course exactly how another recent phemnonminom - the internet - also got its start.

From the USA Today article - "Amid soaring electricity prices, the renewable energy industry is increasingly being driven by families such as the Doucettes who choose to be off the grid for environmental or political reasons and by a much faster-rising number of Americans adding solar and wind systems to grid-connected houses. Such equipment used to be bought almost exclusively by off-the-gridders in remote rural reaches who couldn't afford fees of $30,000 or more to tie in to electric lines.

Now, in 29 states, homeowners on the grid can get state rebates or tax breaks that subsidize up to 50% or more of the cost of clean energy systems. They then sell the electricity they generate, but don't use themselves, to utilities, offsetting the cost of the power they draw from the grid as they spin their meters backward and drive their electric bills toward zero".

There is much more substantive analysis and examples given that provide a rounded picture of this corner of America today. With several States announcing (e.g. Maryland) that electricity power prices will almost double this summer as regulations change for suppliers - consumers are suddenly going to find extra reasons to need to find alternative energy sources.

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