I began my first anniversary message with a rejection of the notion that “America is Addicted to Oil”. Today I’m proud to be among a growing number of people who are actually doing something about it. We have different strategies, and different kinds of projects underway, but similar goals. We’re fortunate to live in a time when it is easy to share information, and to learn from each other. At the rate gasoline prices have been rising, we all need to avoid mistakes and to work as efficiently as possible.
In addition to individual efforts, it’s good to see corporate projects. We’re closer to having practical electric vehicles than we were on this date last year. The GM Volt seems to be progressing on schedule, and the Norwegian Th!nk City car should arrive in the United States sometime next year. Both will have Lithium Ion batteries, and that technology seems to be progressing nicely. Because of the rapid progress, I’m no longer sure if my first electric car will be a plug-in-hybrid-electric, or an electric-only vehicle. As long as I have enough range to meet my daily driving requirements, an electric-only car will meet my needs. I’ll continue to enlarge my PV system so that at least a portion of my driving will be via free energy from the sun.
Another winter has passed, and my corn-burning stove once again supplemented my home heating system. I’m happy to have replaced fossil-fuel heating with corn, but I didn’t really save money this year due to the high cost of corn. I hope someday to own enough land to not only grow my own food, but also to grow corn to be used for home heating. I’ve been told that I can meet all of my home heating needs with just one acre of corn. I know that this will be an ambitious project, so I may hold off until I’m ready to retire from my day job.
In addition to my solar electric and bio-fuel projects, I’m now experimenting with solar water heating. Besides cutting my use of fossil fuels, this project has the potential for cutting my natural gas bill. Check back later for a progress report.
As we go forward we follow different paths, but diverse strategies are good. There will be no single solution to the problems we’ll face as oil declines. Short-term solutions, like hoarding gasoline, will be of little value. Let’s continue to share information as we face the challenges of the future, including our successes and failures, for the benefit of all. As we make the transition to alternative sources of energy, let's enjoy the journey. I appreciate blog comments, and hope to see more of them as I enter the third year of this blog.