Report back from Energy Solutions Expo

Green EarthBy Chris Kearns:

The U.S. is facing one of its worst economic crises in decades, and as the investment, real estate, and automotive industries collapse, it appears that there’s no easy way to turn things around. There is however, a legitimate solution to fixing our ailing economy. That is through an investment in renewable energy.

Environment Rhode Island recently released their report called Renewing America: A Blueprint for Economic Recovery. The report says that the 21st century U.S. economy can become a clean energy-driven economy. It will create millions of jobs in renewable energy, while creating energy independence, and in the process save billions of dollars, instead of sending it to oil companies and foreign nations. Here are some of the key facts from the report:

  • The space available on America’s rooftops alone could host enough solar panels to provide and meet about 70 percent of our current electricity needs.
  • America’s Atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes coastlines could host enough wind turbines to nearly match the capacity of all of America’s current electricity generators combined.
  • Geothermal energy, heat from below the earth’s surface, has the potential to meet about half the total electricity production capacity in the United States today.
  • The wind blowing over just five U.S. states – North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana and Texas – could produce enough electricity to power the entire United States.

Many will ask, ‘Great how does all this affect Rhode Island?’ Well this past weekend I volunteered at the 1st Annual Energy Solutions Expo at the University of RI Ryan Center arena. With close to 80 companies and organizations there, the public turnout for the event was over 5,500. People across this state have a great interest in renewable energy and want to make a change, which is exactly what Rhode Island needs to do.

With a new year approaching and with President-Elect Obama and a new congress coming into power, there is a real hope felt amongst Americans that our country will head in a new direction. The word “change” was thrown out a lot during this presidential campaign, it is time that we follow through on that promise.

To read the full report, click here.

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