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GREEN ENERGY: It’s complicated (and that’s OK)

By Guest Blogger Tim Snyder

Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy brings far greater benefits than “drill baby drill.”

Regardless of the problem, humans are certain to gravitate toward simple, “silver bullet” solutions like metal filings to a magnet. So it’s not surprising to hear from politicians and other “experts” that there’s a simple single solution to the problem of rising energy costs. Depending on who you’re listening to, it could be the Keystone pipeline, more domestic natural gas production, or expanded oil exploration in Alaska.

President Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy is the exact opposite of the “drill baby drill” philosophy. But statistics show that it’s a far wiser and more effective strategy for solving our energy problems and for creating job growth across a broad spectrum of industries –new jobs that can speed our economic recovery.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (www.eia.gov), the development of renewable energy resources (biofuels, biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) grew by over 27% between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011. Energy expert Kate Gordon reports that median wages in “green” professions are 13% higher than in the overall economy. For American workers, clean energy is a more effective job creation engine than the fossil fuel sector.

Of course, it’s going to take a while for some high-tech green technologies to become more affordable. But in the meantime –throughout the research and development phase—we’ll continue to see excellent job growth in green technology, especially if incentive programs continue.

Energy efficiency retrofit work is an excellent example of green technology at work in communities across the country. Thanks to incentives offered by utilities as well as state and federal programs, homeowners are investing in insulation upgrades, super-efficient water heaters and new HVAC systems. Many of the technicians performing these upgrades are tradesmen who lost their jobs in the housing downturn. Ten years ago they were building new houses; today they’re working for companies like Dr. Energy Saver (www.drenergysaver.com). And let’s not overlook the multiplier effect of this energy conservation work. About 90% of the products used in home energy upgrades (insulation, ductwork, furnaces, etc.) are made right here in the U.S.A. For an up-to-date list of incentives available in your area, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (http://www.dsireusa.org/).

Tim Snyder writes frequently about green living, renewable energy home improvement and building technology.

About Kevin


Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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