Energy Policy Issues
Barriers to Production Line Alternative Energy Sources
There are many:
Breaking Down These Barriers:
- Legislative Barrier: The need is not seen or understood.
Continuous short term view.
- NIMBY Barrier: Many things are now unnacceptable to the public
- Ignorance Barrier: The public doesn`t understand the need to
invest in alternative energy sources now
- Industry Barrier: Economics of alternative energy are not well
understood, can industry make a profit?
- Capital Cost Barrier: Without government subsidies, some
facilities just can't get built
- Uncertainty Barrier: Will new technology come along and make obsolete
what has been done?
- Environmental Barrier: False perceptions of risk replace
- Energy Storage Barrier: All forms of alternative energy require
efficient and reliable energy storage to compenesate for low duty
Seizing the Green Initiative:
- Legislative: Difficult, traditional energy providers are a powerful
lobby employment issues are very important does the alternative
energy field give enough jobs? Will the product be affordable for the
- NIMBY Barrier: I have No Clue!
- Ignorance Barrier: Use the WWW, clue the public in! Re-educate
Joe Six pack! Unless the population is better educated, there seems
to be little hope for progess.
- Industry Barrier: This is difficult, several new startup companies
in the energy generation field are required, many will fail. Taxing
fossil fuel use as a means of subsidizing these startup companies would
be a good idea.
- Capital Cost Barrier: Your congress at work. Only TAX breaks
and low interest loans can solve this one.
- Uncertainty Barrier: this can never be solved, just pick something
and go with it but its important to remain flexible and modular
- Environmental Barrier: Shoot the Media! Poor media reporting
(in particular, total failure to articulate a global view) combined
with NIMFBY is a real problem.
- Energy Storage Barrier: again a sizeable investment needs to be
made in energy storage technology. In the area of batteries, this at
least is recognized and progess is being made.
- Public cooperation, change of conscience and habit?
- legislation at the local level (Eugene is a fossil-free zone)
- Legislation at the state level California will clearly be
the leader here
- Legislation at the Federal Level probably unconstitutional
so we need another FDR to just do stuff, unconstitutional or not
Big Brass Balls but, somehow we don't grow them anymore.
Do we have a cultural impediment towards sustainability?
Hierarchical World View
This world view may well divorce us from a meaningful relationship
with nature which then promotes economic based decision making over
morality based decision making. But that's for you to think about
Connected World View
This view that everything is connected is an ancient one but
also one that can be reconciled with many scientific principles and
measurements. We are slowly re-discoverying that Man and Nature are
part of an intricate and complex partnership, necessarily linked
by the Laws of Physics. The more we ignore this, the more we
threaten our future. But this is also something for you to think
about later ...
Is technology the problem or is it our management of technology
that causes our rapid depletion of resources? The story of
Fred, Sam and Ralph
What Can You Do?
- Use flourescent lighting
- Drive less
- Have an appropriate number of children
- Exercise responsibility wisely
- Learn Humility
- Educate your peers about the need for alternative energy
- Ask your local energy provider what their future plans are
- Consider small scale methods that help decouple you from the
- Stop the NIMBY attitude
- Think locally and act globally