September 8, 2010

Are You Doomed To Pay High Energy Costs?

Are You Doomed To Pay High Energy Costs?The debate over Cap and Trade rages in Washington D.C. One of the more dismaying parts of the idea of Cap and Trade is the spike in the cost of electricity available to consumers. It is expected that the price of your electricity will rise anywhere from 30% to 40%. Most power plants run off fossil fuels, which adds CO2 into the environment. Clean burning coal plants and nuclear power plants are several years, if not decades, away from being a reality. But even if Cap and Trade falls by the wayside, there are other concerns regarding the cost of electric power.

The infrastructure of our electrical network is outdated and in serious need of updating. Due to government interference and underinvestment, our nation's power grid is in dire straits. The political climate towards the construction of new power plants has been a heated topic for years now. While politicians drag their feet, our need for energy has grown almost to the point of exceeding our ability to provide it. I'm sure we all remember the rolling blackouts in California a few years back. California now buys it's electricity from other states, which charge a premium for the service. Even if our grid was updated there are other problems on the horizon.

It is generally believed that our natural resources are dwindling. If a resource, such as coal, becomes scarce, the price of coal will skyrocket as the demand for coal will remain high. With today's global economy, problems with the supply of coal in another part of the world will affect the price of coal locally. Some argue that our natural resources are far from depleted. But with today's political and environmental climate, that may not matter.

Government intervention and environmental laws may choke off the supply of fuels, like coal. This, in effect, will be a depletion of our natural resources no matter how much of it we actually have. Think this is far fetched? Farmers in California had their water cut off because environmental laws dictate that protecting wildlife was more important that the livelihood of farmers. The effect has been nothing short of devastating to California's farming community. Imagine what a similar decision on coal would do to your power bill. This situation would effect every home and business in America. But there is hope!

The rising cost of fuel has invigorated the Green Energy market. New technologies offer promise to those who wish to change the way we make and use power. Among these technologies, solar power is creating the most excitement. Better technologies have made solar panels more efficient. Different designs allow for different applications for home and businesses. New power meters will meter in reverse, allowing a business or homeowner to sell their excess electricity to the power company. And once the panels are installed, it costs nothing to generate electricity and it does not pollute the environment. The boom is solar technology is nothing short of exciting. But there is a downside to solar panels; cost. Solar panels are expensive. Even with all the federal, state, and local tax breaks, a consumer will find that it will take many years to recoup the investment into solar power. This makes solar energy cost prohibitive to most Americans. But now the hurdle to affordable solar power has been cleared.

Solar panel technology has changed so much, that now you can make your own solar panels at a fraction of the cost! And the exciting this is that you don't need any special skills, as the process is simple and the materials can be found at any hardware store. All across the nation people are building their own panels and lowering or eliminating their power bill. You are no longer doomed to pay a high premium for your electricity.

By: R.H. Smith

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