The Future of Energy is Personal

October 01 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 5 Hot

There are many that see huge potential in windmill farms, solar fields and huge geothermal operations. And there is huge potential. Energy is a resource we seemingly cannot live without and can never get enough of. In fact, electricity may as well rank up there with water in level of importance.

But the problem facing the average consumer is that even if these huge projects are undertaken, they are still dependent on a large company for their energy needs. They are subject to rate hikes, unfair charges, and development costs the company undertakes. How can the average person release themselves from the shackles of energy addiction?

Solar panels are a good start, but for many the idea of keeping track of battery fluid levels, the cost of the panels themselves, as well as winter months without Sun keeps floating in the back of their heads. Installing a windmill in their backyard is also out of the question, unless of course you have acres to spare and don’t mind the occasional malfunction.

One genre of products that have the potential to take the consumer market by storm is the micro wind turbine.

Produced cheaply and efficiently, the micro wind turbine allows even the most confounded of people to operate their own clean energy. And best of all, it’s small enough that putting it on your roof doesn’t mean you have to see it. There are a variety of products on the market available for those interested in taking a step closer to energy independence.

In a great article about Cleantech Startups, writer Garry Golden of the site The Energy Roadmap explores different clean technology trying to gain a foothold in the market today. Of those listed, be mentions small wind turbines.

“There are dozens of small wind turbine startups such as AeroVironment, HelixWind, Loopwing, Quiet Revolution and Mariah Power’s Windspire that are now driving residential and commercial sales. Home Energy’s Energy Ball is quiet, works at low wind speed, and can generate up to 500 kilowatt-hours per year, or 1,750 kilowatt-hours per year with the larger 2-meter unit.”

While a small wind turbine doesn’t make you energy independent instantly, it still will take a hefty chunk out of your monthly electrical bill.

The fact is, we cannot rely on energy companies to move fast enough to ensure our energy independence. It’s going to take the drive of the individual to push us forward. With energy-saving building materials and more efficient products we may find that we don’t need companies, much less other countries, for our energy. True energy independence starts at home.

image via Energy Ball

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