The Benefits of Energy Independence

As a nation we’ve talked about energy independence since the 1970’s, and lessening the influences of foreign sources of fuel. Truth be told, some 35+ years has passed and we are even more dependent than we were before. We’ve made technological advances in our automobiles and combustion systems, but in terms of our actual energy independence not a whole lot has really changed.

The movement for energy independence in our country will have to start from within. Most of us know by now we can’t sit back and wait for Congress to do us any favors. One wouldn’t exactly compare Uncle Sam to King Midas these days. If we want energy independence, on a personal level, and on a national level, then one by one we have to start taking the initiative in our lives to make it happen.

What does energy independence mean, exactly? It means using the resources that are readily available and from within our country. It means solar power, wind power, and alternative energies of every form. The possibilities are many; micro turbine engines, new age wind turbines, hydrogen generation, modern stirling engines, modern solar thermal storage systems, solar panels, and much more. No matter what approached is involved, however, the general concepts are virtually the same. Conserve more, be more efficient, and take what’s there for the taking.

So what’s there for the taking? Solar power, wind power, hydro turbines, micro turbines, bio-fuels, solar thermal storage, are usually available based on location. Energy independence does not exclude conventional combustion technology, either, that’s fair game too. Coal and gas combustion are tried and true, and an important ingredient to power America’s industrial base.

On a personal level we can be using a wide arrange of alternative energies to help diversify and stabilize our nation’s energy pool. If we happen to have good amounts of solar power, wind power, or biofuel at our residences, then why not put it to good use? Solar collectors and biofuels (i.e. furnaces and wood burning stoves ) can be used to heat our homes. Solar panels, wind turbines, hydro turbines, and stirling engines can be used to make electricity. Micro turbine engine packages exist that can run on conventional natural gas, or gasified biofuels. These engine packages can be extremely efficient and simultaneously produce electricity and heat.

Energy independence also means freedom from taxation and regulation. If we are making our own energy, especially that which is eco-friendly, then this minimizes the intrusion of government in our private lives. No longer must we wonder about what new tax or regulation might be sitting on the horizon. No longer are we nagged by monthly utility bills.

On a national level, increased micro generation would reduce the burden on the Electrical Grid. Since a good percentage of the Electric Grid is fueled by combustion based power plants, then we would be saving our domestic coal, natural gas, and petroleum resources. Simply put, the less of a burden we are on our domestic resources, then the more we can apply them to other important uses, and the less we must import from foreign nations. This additional grid space can be used, also, if the electric car market starts to take shape.

One of the cornerstones of American free society has been our creativity abilities. By developing a wide array of solar power, wind power, and other micro generation applications, we will be diversifying the way we use energy. With this diversification will come increased national stability and open up, economically, an array of micro markets from within. We will be leaving a technologically advanced and environmentally friendly legacy, and passing along an excellent survival tool for generations to come. Energy independence, on the personal level and as a nation, will be strategic ingredient while moving ahead in the 21st century.

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