There are a lot of things that motivate people to switch to clean energy systems. Energy independence doesn’t usually top the list, although it’s usually included in the mix. Lately, though, it looks like Energy Independence may start to mount a strong challenge to other motivators such as cost savings and environmental benefits for the top spot.
Risk with Oil Purchase Higher than Ever Before
Recent news out of Iran is just one reason energy consumers are looking for ways to control their own destiny. Although most strategists don’t believe the Iranians will follow through on threats to cut off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, the threats alone are generating significant negative impact. Between 20% and 30% of the world’s oil supply passes through this narrow strait. If this supply were to be interrupted, even for a short time, the effect on prices could be astronomical. In an area that is both volatile and unstable, this level of dependence can and does have serious consequences.
So what’s the solution? The simplest answer is for oil importing nations to reduce our risk in this situation. How we do that is certainly up for debate and there are certainly many avenues to be considered—diplomacy? Sanctions? Force? Appeals to reason? Obviously, a diversification of our energy supply is a strong option. As a country, each nation can begin to look for other more stable supplies of oil, but that could take quite a bit of time.
Is there anything we can do as individuals? Finding our own new oil supplies isn’t practical. What we can do on an individual level, however, is diversify our own personal energy supply. As individual home or business owners, we can make the decision to switch to clean energy systems, reducing our personal dependence while at the same time, reducing our country’s collective dependence. Solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass are all sources of energy that can be found in our own backyards.
It’s the perfect example of think globally, act locally.
Do you think the desire for energy independence could shift the current energy model away from oil to alternative energies such as solar, wind or geothermal? Let us know what you think.