Sunshine, Blue Skies … At Home with Wind and Solar Energy

Taking the Mystery Out of America’s Energy Options:

Fundamentals of conventional and alternative energy sources

Practical advice about wind and solar energy for your home and small business

Growing the community of alternative energy users.

As I write this – 19 March 2012 – the price of gasoline seems headed past $4, Japan’s melted-down nuclear industry is dead for years to come, Syria is tearing itself apart and Iraq sometimes seems not far behind, Iran wants The Bomb and Israel wants to bomb Iran, the Canadians are digging up miles of prairie and soaking up giga-gallons of fresh pure water to mine for tar sands, and West Virginians are ‘disappearing’ their mountains to get at the coal underneath.

I can’t predict (and don’t believe anyone who says they can!) precisely what’s going to happen over the next few years in the energy economy, geo-politics, or the environment, but ….

1.  Energy supplies are going to be less, not more, reliable as population and economies grow, and as the more cheaply accessible fossil fuel sources are ‘mined out.’

2.  If history’s any guide, energy prices are sure to yo-yo up and down under the competing influences of supply, demand, global business cycles, and energy market speculators.

More and more, these realities are driving people, companies and institutions to look for alternatives – for ways to reduce their electricity, heating and cooling bills, and the economic black hole of the gas pump.  These alternatives come in many forms – solar and wind, tidal and geothermal energy, renewable fuels and bio-diesel.  Sorting reality of alternative energy from the hype isn’t easy.  For example:

Solar panels for your home may not be the utility-busting slam-dunk that some solar evangelists would have you believe – But plenty of solar powered homeowners are putting money in the bank by selling electricity back into the utility grid.

The wind is free – but the huge wind turbines to capture it and the high voltage transmission lines to carry the resulting electricity are anything but.  And – oh, by the way – even some fervent environmentalists and property owners bitterly oppose big wind energy development.

Energy economics – for conventional as well as alternative energy sources – is a confusing and ever-changing mix of supply-and-demand market forces, government subsidies and tax breaks, and exciting new technologies, and the seemingly inevitable advantage of the powerful and established over the new technology on the block.

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Want to learn more?  Check out “Sunshine, Blue Skies: At Home with Wind and Solar Energy”

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BOB BROTHERS provides business insight, intelligence, and creative marketing strategies to entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate marketing leaders, at

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