Energy is Everywhere (Week #22)
When I was two years old my mother gave me a colorful shiny pinwheel whose movement would captivate me for hours at the beach. That was my first “energy” discovery. A few years later I understood that the invisible force behind its movement was the wind; an energy that could be harnessed.
Our society has made energy invisible. Most of us don’t visually see the gas we put into our automobile tanks, our released GHG emissions; and once home, we don’t see the electricity when we flip the switch turning on our lights, smart devices, heat or air conditioning. And arguably, three decades ago, climate change and energy use were both invisible to most of us.
Not any more. Today, energy use and climate change are two of the most important challenges confronting humanity. The fossil fuel age is on its way out and renewables are on their way in. Although innovators produce energy solutions globally in the sea, on land and in the air, the reaction in the United States, recently, is to penalize those that go “off-grid”. Examine the case in Florida here.
Global energy use and the climate conversation are about choices, both individually and collectively. All of us are involved in that choice. And yes, each of our choices, collectively, will have enormous effects.
Each person or family should have the freedom to make the choice of living a sustainable lifestyle by utilizing renewable energy.
When we can make choices in an informed manner we can change the future to a more sustainable world for our children for generations to come.
I offer my top five innovative wind turban design choices for 2015:
1. Silent wind turbine trees:
2. Giant Dutch urban hotel/rollercoaster turbine:
3. MIT based start-up, Altaeros Energies, designs floating wind turbines:
4. And the French are planning these large (330 feet) VAWT’s for the Meditterranean:
5. And last, but not least, is the Vindship, the cargo vessel with a hull so large it acts as a sail:
The WHAT and HOW:
Increase awareness by celebrating Global Wind Day, (June 15th). Or visit a local wind farm or windmill. For us that would be either Mark Richey Woodworking or Ipswich Utilities.
The Deep Dive:
Global Wind Day, June 15
Global Wind Day Events
A Battle to Go Off-Grid
Boston Renewable Energy Conference Events
Women in Wind Energy
The Missing Link to Renewable Energy, a 15 minutes TED talk
Latest Global Wind Statistics (2014)
Freeing Energy from the Grid, 12 Minute TED talk
Kites Tap Wind Energy, 6 minute TED talk
DIY site for making Pinwheels
NOVA 2012 Wind Power Episode
Singapore Internal Energy Week, Summit October 26-30, 2015
NPR review of Windfall, the movie