The Battle Over Green Energy

There is a large division in the United States over the adoption of expanded alternative energy initiatives. While areas like Nevada are constructing billion dollar solar farms and California are reaping the rewards of wind-generated electricity, other areas of the country are quite resistant to the expansion of these types of technology. The main reasoning behind this push back is purely economic, that reduction on the reliance on coal and oil would eliminate jobs in those particular industries. This is a difficult subject, as many people in some parts of the country do not have the opportunities that other areas have, relying on these jobs in order to get by. For many in coal country, there simply are no other jobs to be had, and entire towns are being supported by coal mining. As residents of these areas see the progress being made in the areas of alternative energy, they see the potentials of their jobs being eliminated.

While the reasons behind the push back against alternative energy are certainly understandable, it must be considered that pushing back against the evolution of an industry in favor of outdated technology simply to keep people employed is a short term solution to a long term problem. Fossil fuels are limited, they burn dirty and cause damage to both the environment and the health of those who work to mine the resources. The conventional wisdom is that the practice of burning fossil fuels in order to create electricity produces an extraordinary amount of harm in the form of pollution to the environment, and attempting to stop the reduction of that harm in order to employ a small amount of people simply does not make sense. While efforts to retrain those who will lose jobs due to industry contraction should be a top priority, so should the push towards further development of the technology that advances alternative energy production.

An example of how technology can be used to benefit the world can be found in industrial surge protection devices that help protect the energy at wind and solar installations. Due to the fact that the fuel sources for alternative energy production are free, the costs that are passed off to consumers come from the repair, replacement and upgrading of technological equipment used in the process. The components of solar farms and wind farms are exposed to the elements, and are connected to high-tech equipment through power cables. When the inevitable lightning strikes to the windmills and solar panels happen, a power surge is created that ultimately can damage the circuitry of the connected equipment. These costs or repair and replacement of components must be passed off to consumers in order for the facilities to remain profitable, which causes the prices associated with alternative energy to be higher than or equal to fossil fuel energy. By introducing more advanced surge protection equipment capable of providing higher levels of protection to that equipment, much of the repair and replacement cost can be reduced or eliminated, thus helping drive costs down. This benefit to consumers is seen in two areas, cheaper prices on their power bills and a cleaner environment. As technology is embraced and expanded in order to create better industrial surge protection, the entire new energy industry is advanced.