Archive for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

U.S. government should invest in renewable energy source

March 13, 2007


Many scientists believe that human carbon output will cause dramatic change to the weather patterns of Earth. Although dramatic climate change has yet to occur, it is not in our best interest to wait for it. In order for America to reduce greenhouse emissions, we must be realistic: American capitalism is addicted to oil and will be for a while. As much potential as renewable energy seems to have, the reality is that the technology to make renewable energy more profitable than fossil fuels has not yet been developed.

If a profitable renewable energy source other than hydroelectricity existed, oil companies quickly would invest in it. While wind farms seem to be a logical alternative, they remain unreliable because the wind does not blow every day. Solar energy also is unreliable due to the fact that the sun is not always shining. The U.S. will not have a reliable alternative to oil dependency in the near future. Cold fusion is still being researched, and nuclear power plants frighten the public due to past incidents.

In order for a renewable energy economy to work, we would need a method of storing abundant renewable energy for later use. The only renewable energy that has proven reliable is hydroelectricity; however, due to the ecological destruction it causes, it has not reached full capacity. In order to make renewable energies profitable players in the U.S. electrical grid, the government must sponsor research to develop new, more efficient technology. Many people believe that the energy sector should be nationalized, but doing so would raise energy prices. In order for investors and entrepreneurs to take interest in these renewable energies, the government will need to offer incentives, such as tax cuts and small subsidies to offset initial capital costs of power plants.

A renewable energy economy will exist someday, but only after the government and energy corporations are willing to invest time and money in research.

- Dan Bentley is president and Ted Olson is vice president of the Lawrence High School Young Republicans.


JohnBrown 11 years, 1 month ago

We need to make a complete list of our ROI on renewable energy investments. (ROI = Return On Investment). Part of that investment should be measured within the free market system, but another part of that investment should be designed to give the US Energy Security, and its ROI should be calculated the same way the ROI on defense spending has been calculated over the past 60 years.

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