What can the average person do if they want to help bring about the change we need?
North American Windpower is reporting that
“U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., is sponsoring the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2012 (H.R.6275), which would enable the continuation of the production tax credit (PTC) and other clean energy incentives for 10 years.
It would also give all Americans a way to invest in a clean energy future that creates energy independence, jobs and economic opportunities.”
Up to now, financial factors are probably the leading reason renewable energy has not experienced an even larger mass expansion than has already been achieved. Surprisingly, these financial factors may have little or nothing to do with the actual final cost of generating the energy that would be produced.
Although in most cases the “fuel” to be used -like sunshine and the wind- will be free once the project is built, Renewable Energy projects require a large amount of money up-front, which leads to..
Investment, financing and tax break opportunities are generally limited to: utilities, existing energy companies (usually dirty energy-most of whom are fighting against renewables) or deep pocketed hedge funds / private multi-millionaire investors.
This is mainly a US problem due to our investment laws. Theres much talk about getting around this by:
- “Community” Renewable Energy programs (We love the concept-it’s just not easily viable in most areas). Check this current example from Great Britain. We would absolutely love to see something like this available here.
- Virtual net metering. This is where the solar panels or energy generation do not have to be on your house to count towards your electric bill.
- Crowdfunding: Not legal investments for projects in the US at this time, where a large number of people make small investments.
You know we’re always looking for new ways the average person can get involved, on any financial level.