IMHO, the traditional concept of large scale central power production and long distance distribution, is bankrupt. For one thing, the production of very high volume of electricity destined to be transported long distance, requires obligatorily the use of highly polluting energy sources such as cole, oil, nuclear or even natural gas. Then such large scale operations is profit oriented, at the detriment of technological evolution, and condusive to corruption. It suffice to have a rapid glance on the situation of the USA with regard to energy, to arouse our of reasonable cynicism. Corrupt oil business, Enron, corrupt nuclear industrial complex, the antiquated coal industry and for all: their dirty hands in the governement. Not to mention that through such short sighted profit oriented view, they have even managed to let the US stagnate in the first part of the 20th century, in 110 volts that is!
In the CURRENT state of technology it is possible, and vital for our planet, that we switch to small, local, clean power production. Certainly solar is the "cleanest", but decentralisation of power production opens the door to a more nuanced approach, which allows the use of local characteristics, such as wind- or geothermal energies. In the west of the USA, we have enough available natural energy sources, sun in the south and wind in the north, to be entirely energy sufficient, WITHOUT the use of polluting, global climate change exarcebating use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
It opens a fantastic prospect, even economically, to plan, built, retrofit, houses, businesses, neighborhoods, towns, which generate their own power, in the appropriate quantity, on their roofs or gardens. Architecture, electricity, town planner, transportation specialists, etc etc are all fields of the economy that would be focused on and benefit from such prospect which would in reality be for the common good.
If it were not a question of urgency, given the alarming state of degradation of our climate and its soon desastrous consequences on life on our little planet, it might even be all right to accept the idea that our antiquated vues of the economy, would be the regulating drive letting grow the demand for "alternative energy" implementations, but this would be without planning, and at utterly slow speed. Again, by looking at the 110 volts, we can reasonably assume that the traditional liberal economy fantasies would make "alternative energy" a mainstream energy source may be in...the twenty second century? ...but according to most honest and serious science, life as we know it until now, will have disappeared from our planet long before then, if we do not act radically and immediately, at a global level.
For these reasons, the immediate, massive implementation of local "alternative energy" solutions and the massive, and incidently radical deconstruction of the dinosauric energy producers and pollution mongerer, has to be our goal.
If survival of life and quality if life are our goal, it is our moral obligation to built political forces, inexorable forces, to implement such program, that can only be brought on by political will. We have to establish strategies, *nalyze the tactics that have made it possible for the crazy, irresponsible fundamentalist criminals to have been so successful in overtaking power and obtaining quasi totalitarian power. Given the level of power we have to deconstruct, it has unfortunately become necessary to be fiierce, and machiavelic. The goal is so important and viutal that the "by any means" principles have to be applied.
Well my message has gotten out of hand...sorry! I just wanted to suggest to Green-Passions members the reading of the HOME POWER Magazine, also at www.homepower.com which is an invaluable source for understanding the current possibilities of "alternative energy". It is IMHO the best source in the USA. They have been dedicated to Solar Power and environmentally sustainable living since many decades. Their integrity goes beyond just the "milking of an idea". For example, they print their paper magazine on 100% recycled paper not bleached, haven even gone so far to import such paper from Europe since, sadly, such paper was not available in the USA, from what i understand!