Saturday, April 13, 2013

The journey from "Net- Zero Energy" to "Energy Independence" for sustainable Green Coomunities

Does  Net-Zero Energy  mean Energy Independence?

The answer depends on the various forms of energy that are addressed by the User. This includes Electrical Energy, Thermal energy for Heat and Fuels for Transportation.

Normally these energy improvements depend on the incentives offered by the state or Federal Agencies. For example, currently New York State has very attractive grants and tax incentives for electrical power generation and energy efficiency retrofits. Some of our Municipal clients are now implementing projects to produce large scale solar PV system to produce as much power over the Year as they consume in their multiple buildings. They plan to achieve the first step of Net-Zero Energy  by 2014. We are proud to have these visionary Village and Town leaders in Finger Lakes region that have made the decision to do so.

So where do they go from this stage onwards?

Upgrade of the HVAC system would be next as the funds are available and long term financing of Geothermal and/or solar thermal systems may be the technologies to provide very efficient green system to replace non-renewable fuels and reduce their carbon foot print.

So what is the next step after they achieve this goal?

Transportation is key to our energy independence and finding alternative fuels for transportation and having the refueling infrastructure would be the next opportunity. CNG,  hybrid gas & Electric vehicles, and Electric Vehicles are the possible options to replace expensive gasoline or diesel with new cleaner fuels. This step will keep the money in America and avoid importing oil from overseas.

When all of these steps are completed the community will truly become an Energy Independent community. In Europe such communities exist now. It is time that America takes the lead and helps develops such examples of energy independence. It will be a dream come true. Hopefully in next 10 years.


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