1/13/2006

Wind Turbines, Alternative Energy, Solar

Ever since I worked at the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, CO in 1980 (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL) as an intern from Johns Hopkins, I saw how critical alternative energy is to the future of this nation. Twenty-six years later, alternative fuels are even more important.
(This is why I own stock in Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. ENER, which makes fuel cells, flexible thin-film solar panels for use as a roof, and other solar products. And the time for these products on the market HAS arrived, because I paid the tuition for my 20-year old's mechanical engineering junior year at the University of Maryland's tuition with this stock. Now...if we could just replace all those hot, sun absorbing, energy wasting roofs with energy use reducing cool roofs and energy generating thin-film solar roofs...)
I saw wind farms in Wyoming. It is a proven technology and it generates large amounts of electricity these days. 
We have a dangerous dependence on leaders of foreign countries who are hostile to our people and our nation. Worse, we are supplying the money that may one day be used against our children, just as when we sent Imperial Japan the scrap metal in the 1930's that they used against us in the 1940's. (I can still remember my departed mother saying she had a history teacher at Germantown High School in Philadelphia in the late 1930's who would say over and over, "Don' they understand that the scrap metal we are sending them will be used to kill our boys one of these days?!." He was considered a nut before Pearl Harbor and a wise man afterwards.)
Solar Garden Lights - bring them inside and light up your kitchen and bathroom during power outages
Solar Electric Carports
PowerFilm - recharge your laptop, Ipod, smart phones and other electric devices with the sun, off the grid...
The solution to our "addiction to oil" will take millions of small steps...like this simple solar garden light. Many of the technology breakthroughs I saw as an intern 1980 at the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) are readily available at your local or big box hardware store or on-line. Hundreds of durable and bright outdoor solar illumination products (driveway signs, lights, address signs, etc.) are now on the market.
I have two dozen solar garden lights on my property. They are made of aircraft aluminum and the photovoltaic cells on the top are superior to the earlier versions. They give me soft, free light at night. And during the last power outage, my family brought them inside and used them for light. They are good for 12 hours of light with each daily charge. Solar is now a thriving business and can meet the needs of our power-hungry toys.
Now...if I could only decide what fuel cell car to buy

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