I value alternative energy as an important issue because it has the possibility to create energy independence for America, model an environmentally conscious world, and remove us from energy based conflicts. It will also create jobs to retrofit the power grid as well as install solar panels and wind turbines across the country.
Wind energy already accounts for 4.1 percent of the national energy production. Wind projects create jobs and provide rural areas with additional income to rent the land for the wind turbines. Offshore wind power also conserves space in the interior and can take advantage of the nearly constant wind flow resulting from ocean climates. Creating new facilities provides for increased job projects and brings money to non-urban communities. America should take advantage of this opportunity because jobs are a big question in America right now. Wind projects provide a non-outsourceable field that can attract workers of all levels of skill, from engineers to construction workers. It will also settle issues with interest groups like the Sierra Club looking to preserve the environment.
Increases in solar technology have made solar energy increasingly accessible and cheap. There has been a “seventeen-fold” increase in solar installations across the nation since 2008. Jobs in solar energy productions and installation have increased 130% since 2010, and there are nearly a quarter of a million solar workers in the United States. Increasing investments in solar energy means that more jobs will be brought into the U.S.. Extensive retrofits to the power grid will also provide communities with increased income. Innovations in solar technology would not only give America access to a nearly unlimited source of clean energy, but once again the opportunity to drive down unemployment. A major concern with solar energy is that weather conditions do not always permit sunlight to reach the panels. A suggested solution has been to simply created more solar panel projects. More jobs in multiple levels of trade based in America shouldn’t be a question. American manufacturing can also be bolstered through producing solar panels in America.
The biggest challenge facing clean energy at the moment is integration. There is still a heavy dependence on fossil fuels and there is lots of money in the petroleum industry. For example, the car industry represents how money is deeply entrenched in petroleum, and makes change difficult. There are over 250 million cars in America, and only five hundred thousand are electric. The rest run on gasoline, and making the switch can be expensive and unfeasible for many families. Suggested government recollection programs present the idea of buying old cars fro scrap from families, giving them the capital to buy new, electric vehicles. I think that as a country we need to rally behind clean energy because it will bring in jobs and money to America and model a more efficient society for the future.
Clean Energy for America by Will is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.