Cartwright—I’m all for the promotion of alternative energies, but this boils down to two things—economics and changing consumer behaviors in the form of incentives or disincentives. I go back to my fuel surcharge and using part of the funds raised by that to invest in and promote alternative energies. I think we should go off of the coast of just about every state and construct windmill. Anyone who lives on the coast knows that those windmills would be turning all the time. The government never does anything cheap or efficiently, so perhaps they offer up the opportunity to private industry with some sort of subsidy or tax credit funded by the fuel surcharge to build offshore windmills for energy purposes. Do the same thing for businesses who are willing to build solar fields.
Wind is a no brainer. We should be doing anything and everything to harness the power of wind. I think buildings along the coast or in areas prone to high wind should install smaller windmills on their roofs or on their properties; use the energy to power your exterior lights or heat your pools or something. Solar is intriguing to me as well. I think most buildings could put solar panels on their roofs. I’d even like to see window tint film developed with solar panel capabilities incorporated so that high rises and commercial buildings can tint windows with solar power generating capabilities. Things like this will only help in the long run.
As I said earlier, reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation is going to take a disincentive for drivers to continue filling up with cars. A fuel surcharge or significant increase in the price of gasoline is the only way to change this. Some consumers will go buy a more fuel efficient car or an electric hybrid or a fully electric car. That’s great. The electric it takes to run that car has to come from someplace. Perhaps it’s coming from coal fired power plants or nuclear plants. I don’t know, but the transition to electric cars en masse would require additional power consumption and put additional strain on power grids. We need to be ready for that so perhaps this is where additional wind and solar power come into play.
At the individual level, we need to disincentivize consumption of fossil fuels, predominantly gasoline for transportation purposes, and incentivize investment in alternative energies via tax credits and bigger tax breaks for buying electric cars or putting wind or solar power generating capabilities on your home or property.