Two of the four Green Oscars in 2008 were awarded to Indian projects shortlisted for their innovative use of solar energy.
Bunker Roy’s Barefoot College, which has been providing lighting using solar panels in over 136 remote Himalayan villages across seven states, won the Ashden Award for community welfare and S.P. Gon Chaudhuri’s West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency, which has been supplying grid-quality electricity to Sagar Island in Sunderbans, received the award for enterprise.
These projects prove that no technology can be successful unless the community is taken into confidence. These solar panels are prepared, maintained and repaired entirely by the community.
Of the money we have seen thrown around thus far let me ask you this, that 168 billion that our country borrowed to give away to us in the form of an "economic stimulus package" …did it do a darn thing to create jobs or stimulate our economy? NO, nothing. And we borrowed the money from China.
This past year the high cost of gas nearly destroyed our economy and society. More people lost jobs and homes as a direct result of that than any other factor in our history.
Fannie and Freddie continue to get all the blame. Of all the homes I have seen lost in my area SW FL and believe me I have seen many, none were due to an adjustable mortgage. They were due to lack of work.
Families went broke at the pump alone. Then added to that most saw record rate hikes at their utility companies. The high cost of fuel resulted in higher production and shipping costs that were passed on to the consumer, in most cases higher prices for smaller packaging.
Consumers tightened their belts, cut back, went out to eat less or stopped totally. Drove around on tires that needed replacing longer, some even quit buying medicines they really need.Unfortunately cutting back and spending less results in even more layoffs. A real economical catch-22.
And, as we are doing the happy dance around the lower prices at the pumps OPEC is planning to cut production to raise prices. They are even getting Russia in on the cutbacks. Oil is finite. We have used up the easy to get to reserves already. It will run out one day.
We have so much available to us. Solar and Wind are free sources of energy. Of course to get the harnessing process set up is somewhat costly it is still free energy.
It would cost the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to charge and drive an electric car. The electricity to charge the car could be generated by solar or wind at least in part and in most cases totally.
If all gasoline cars, trucks, and suv’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. What a powerful resources we have neglected.
Jeff Wilson has a profound new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. http://www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com Powerful, powerful book! Also, if you think electric cars are way out there in some futuristic lala land please check out the web site for a company Better Place. http://www.betterplace.com/ they are setting up infrastructures in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland as well as the state of Hawaii to accommodate electric car use.
I think we need to rethink all these bailouts and stimulus packages. We need to use some of these billions to bail America out of it's dependence on foreign oil. Create clean cheap energy, create millions of badly needed new green collar jobs and get out from under the grip foreign oil has on us. What a win -win situation that would be for America at large