Charlotte: Get real about your green energy aspirations

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Thanks to Yale360 for the image.
  • Thanks to Yale360 for the image.

All right Charlotte, in the spirit of Getting Real: If this city is going to be a green energy hub, we've got to be serious green energy consumers.

It's simple economics: We create demand when we choose to buy something or pay for a service. The more we demand, the more producers will want to fill our demand. (Hello, Supply!) At first, while the supply/demand cycle balances itself, prices may be a little high. But, we expect that with new technology don't we? It's high for a minute, but by a product's second generation — which doesn't take too long to develop these days — the prices have dropped and the quality has improved. Dig? Makes sense, huh?

And this is where you come in, Charlotteans. While the rest of the country can drag their feet on consumption of green energy products and services, we need to put our money where our energy hub desires are ... and right now I'm hearing a lot of yackedy yack, especially with the DNC's big party on the way.

Want to be a green energy hub? Prove it to the people being discussed in the below Yale360.org article:

Wind and solar might get more attention as energy alternatives. But the National Academy and McKinsey reports, both published in 2009, suggested that plain old efficiency had at least as much potential to deliver a rapid carbon-cutting wallop. Both analyses said that within a mere 10 years, the U.S. could cut total energy use by 20 percent or more. As an added benefit, the energy savings could be served up with a side of fiscal dessert: An investment of $500 billion in efficiency would end up saving $1.2 trillion in energy costs, said the McKinsey analysis.

Even more recently, a team of researchers at Cambridge University estimated that the world could save 73 percent of its energy through efficiency measures. Much of that gain could come from deploying basic, already-available technologies such as thicker building insulation and triple glazed windows. (At least one idea seems more far-fetched: limiting automobile weight to 300 kilograms, or about 660 pounds.)

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama touted efficiency as “the cheapest, cleanest, fastest energy source.” Last week, President Obama set a goal of improving U.S. energy efficiency by 20 percent over the next 10 years through a series of tax incentives and grants. Still, efficiency seems to get far less attention than it deserves. If companies like Paul Rak’s can so easily prove efficiency’s merits, why isn’t everyone on the bandwagon?

Read the entire article, by Jon R. Louma, here.

Rhiannon  Fionn-Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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