HOUSTON - Environment Texas today unveiled the ten best opportunities to move America beyond fossil fuels and toward a cleaner, more secure energy future for America.
The list is based on Environment Texas’ new report The Road to a New Energy Future, which highlights numerous technologies to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. It is the second of two reports that reinforce the importance of an American commitment to moving toward a cleaner and more secure energy future.
“With war in the middle east, volatile gas prices, and the gathering storm of global warming, America needs a new energy future,” said Aaron Mercier, Environment Texas Field Associate “We cannot afford to pass up any of these golden opportunities,” continued Mercier.
Environment Texas’ report shows that the U.S. already has the tools to accomplish the goals of reducing U.S. dependence on oil; harnessing clean, renewable, homegrown energy; and saving energy with high performance homes, buildings and appliances.
Highlighted by Environment Texas as among the Ten Best Opportunities for a New Energy Future were:
- Hybrid vehicles. Vehicles already exist that go 100 miles on a gallon of gas.
- “Zero Energy” homes. Build homes that can generate as much energy as they use by combining energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy such as solar-panels.
- Industrial motor efficiency. The use of high-efficiency motors and better controls in the industrial, electricity generation and commercial sectors could reduce total U.S. electricity demand by as much as 15 to 25 percent.
- Solar heated water. Using roof-mounted solar collectors to heat household water can reduce energy consumption for water heating by about two-thirds and pay for themselves within four to eight years.
- Farm energy. The U.S. already gets about 3 percent of its energy from “biomass” -- plant waste and energy crops which can be obtained from a variety of sources, from forestry industry residues to crop residues to dedicated energy crops.
- Harness the wind. The wind that blows through America’s Great Plains could theoretically generate enough electricity to power the entire country. The cost of wind turbines has declined by approximately 90 percent in the last 20 years and wind now cost-competitive with fossil fuel electricity generation in many parts of the country.
- Capture the power of the sun. The potential for electricity from solar energy in the United States is huge; Solar photovoltaic panels, or PV panels, placed on just 7 percent of the area currently covered by cities and residences could generate all of America’s electricity. The price of solar energy has dropped dramatically over the last two decades. The solar industry
- Change light bulbs. Lighting accounts for about 9 percent of household electricity consumption. If every American household replaced its most highly used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, total household lighting consumption could be cut in half.
- Capture the heat of the earth. The natural heat and hot water contained deep within the earth itself provides a renewable source of energy. More than one million geothermal heat pumps are currently in use in the United States, but there is great potential for expansion in the market.
- Put a stake in the heart of the energy vampires. Replacing existing appliances with those that minimize the energy wasted by “standby” power use could reduce energy losses by 68 percent.
Environment Texas today also called on all Congressional candidates in the state to support the goals of a New Energy Future.
“The opportunity for a New Energy Future is knocking and Texans are calling on our leaders to answer,” said Mercier. “We need a national commitment to put these clean energy tools in the hands of the individuals and businesses that will build our energy future,” continued Mercier.