6/09/2008

Day of Reckoning.

As a designer, my mind naturally works to solve problems. If you have not noticed, I am obsessed with what is (and what's not) efficient.

Rising gas prices, rising electricity costs (16% hike in KWh since December for me) means the cost of food and everything else goes way up. It should make everyone think about how they live.

I first watched a movie about one type of sustainable home builder called "Garbage Warrior" on the Sundance channel a few months ago. I was entranced.

Since then I've been reading up about passive sustainable Homes, Zero Energy Homes and Electric Vehicles (EV) — all of which use smart efficient building techniques and the sun's energy in one way or another.

Across the country, they are building compete neighborhoods of Zero Energy Homes (some of the solar panels even look like roof tiles). It's the first time in my life that I wish I was a developer. I'd be creating Zero Energy Home neighborhoods. Imagine owning a home that used little or no energy, created it's own power from the sun (and maybe wind). Even your transportation could be powered by the energy we collect from our solar panels on our homes.

There is a company that says they have created the next generation of solar panel, which will concentrate how much energy can be pulled from the sun in a square foot. Actually, there are many companies that say they are close. This would reduce the price of solar dramatically.

SUNRGI's "concentrated photovoltaic" system relies on lenses to magnify sunlight 2,000 times, letting it produce as much electricity as standard panels with a far smaller system. Read about it HERE.

It's hard to say if they are really 1 year away from production, or if they have created a story to get a flood of investor dollars. It sure looks like something.

Bottom line is — the days of waisting all the cheep energy are coming to an end. The standard of living in the USA peaked out a few years ago, and will continue to decline for some time. Americans (who have been the worsts wasters of energy in the world) are going to get a taste of what has been going on in the rest of the world for the last 25 years.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The American market generally goes towards the most efficient, cost effective means of doing things. It is the government and large corporate business that stiffles creativity, especially when it comes to disrupting the status quo in energy innovation. The oil and gas industry is so arrogant. They pay an unimaginable amount of money to government officials to keep us, the U.S. citizens, under their control.

It is amazing how much choice other nations' citizens have when buying vehicles and fuel. Europeans have the option of buying their Toyota Prius as a fully electric vehicle. When are we going to take a stand, and demand these options for America?

Are we so stupid (aka. uneducated) and overworked in this Capitalistic society that we will not demand our freedom to choose our own energy solutions? When will we find the time to come together as a people to overthrow these corporate giants? Is it impossible in today's America? I think it just might be.

mark said...

Why is energy so high? Hedge fund trading that is unregulated.

How did this happen? The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, co-sponsored by Phil Gramm (who's wife soon became a board member of Enron) and signed into law by President Clinton.

Since then, gas, oil, energy and food markets are free game for manipulation.

Here's a link to part 1 and 2 of a story which investigates and explains the time line of events.

I would encourage everyone to read this so you can understand just how crooked our "representatives" are.

http://www.star-telegram.com/ed_wallace/story/651928.html

http://www.star-telegram.com/ed_wallace/story/659081.html

Anonymous said...

If food markets go as insane as oil markets, there will be trouble. We can live without cars but without food there will be war like never before.

Anonymous said...

That is why people are stocking up on rice.

Food Rationing in the US:
http://tinyurl.com/3mojoo