Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We are often called “the country addicted to oil ”. I don’t think we are addicted to oil, but we are certainly very dependant on oil. Without gas how are people supposed to get places such as work, school, doctor’s appointments, etc.? The root of the problem is that 97% of transportation in the United States is dependent on oil. In the U.S. there are 230 million vehicles on the roads which burn more than 55% of the oil we consume and they emit almost a third of the green gases we put in the air every year.
We must also mention on how dependent we are on electricity here in the United States. Without electricity, businesses cannot run since there would be no computers, cars, (we can’t fill up the tank because the gas pump is electric) no TV, no refrigerators, not even most phones because most phones today are cordless and require electricity to work.
But the important question is: how do we reduce our dependency to oil and electricity? Well, there are many ways to do so, and already many companies and investors are taking action sooner than later.
For example, eastern New Mexico counts with the world's third-largest wind generation facility called The Wind Energy Center, which is currently under construction. Right now more than 75 of the 136 turbines planned for the site are complete. The Wind Energy Center is expected to produce power before the end of this year.
In Iowa, Green Plains is planning to develop into a vertically-integrated, low-priced ethanol manufacturer. Green Plains runs two plants with a combined capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol per year. Green Plains' agribusiness segment operates grain storage facilities with a capacity of approximately 19 million bushels. Additionally, the agribusiness segment has complementary agronomy, feed and petroleum businesses.
Another great green company is Sapphire Energy, which also has a research lab in New Mexico. This company uses CO2, industrial microorganisms, sunlight, non-arable land and non-potable water to obtain substitutes to products obtained from petroleum. Sapphire's Green Crude could replace products such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel products that are completely compatible with the current infrastructure for autos and airplanes. This company’s investors include: Wellcome Trust, Venrock and Cascade Investment, LLC, which is an investment holding company owned by Bill Gates.
Also, Google and GE will start working together in Washington, D.C. to facilitate large-scale consumption of renewable energy generation in the United States. They are also working on the development and deployment of an electricity grid that will allow customers to control electricity more efficiently and lower their carbon footprint. Lastly, Google and GD will work together on advanced energy technologies. These technologies seek to allow the large-scale integration of plug-in vehicles into the grid and new geothermal energy technologies.
It is important to know that it will not be long until consumers will have options to purchase a wide variety of electric cars, alternative fuel, as well as alternative energy for their homes and businesses. The good news is that consumers won’t have to wait decades to do so. These changes should only take a couple of years.
All these improvements will allow us to live better lives, as well as richer and more fulfilling lives in peace with the environment and nature.
Posted by Poli at 9:22 AM