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Have you seen a wind turbine yet?  While there aren’t very many in my state, I did see 2 on my Spring Break last month at the N.C. Outerbanks.

wind turbine in Outerbanks, NC

Wind turbine in Outerbanks, NC sunset

While they both paled in size comparison to the ones in Europe we saw last year, they still gave me a feeling of awe when I saw them.  Especially when I spotted the wind-powered brewery a mile from the beach!  Now there’s a concept my husband and I both can get excited about.  It’s a wind-win situation!

How about solar panels, they are popping up in many places, are they becoming common in your area? Perhaps you’ve seen them on industrial buildings, atop houses or farms…they often look like giant mirrors on the horizon.  Other times they are small and innocuous, found on top of electronic signs along the roads and highways and at cross walks and stoplights.

Wind and sun for power…”green power”…hmm, who would argue that these technologies aren’t the best answer since the beginning of the modern age?  They are FREE, unlimited, renewable and well, very effective and reliable.  Did I mention free?  And, unlimited?

According to the National Renewable Energy Lab, the Outerbanks of NC are the best source of wind along the East Coast, so we should start to see more signs of progression there.  Right now, 90% of our electricity in this state comes from fuels, like coal, that are not indigenous to this area.  There are 14 coal-powered power plants in N.C. and guess how many active coal mines we have?  You guessed it…none.

US_wind_power_map

Seems pretty wasteful and silly.  Why should we pay extra to use a product that is limited, dirty and expensive, only to use another limited, dirty resource (oil) to ship it clear across the country?

As a whole, our country burns more than a billion tons of coal every year – second in consumption only to China.  That equates to 20 pounds of coal per person, per day.  Our over-consumption of coal has led to some of the worst air quality in history.  The emissions burned from coal add to the pollution in our water as well as

our air.  We are compromising the quality of our 2 most basic needs.  Time to wake up and smell the toxins!Susquehanna_steam_electric_station

Adapting to the new technologies of wind, sun and other renewable resources for power generation is the right thing to do, in this country and worldwide.  It protects our environment and gives us sustainable options for the future.  It also provides jobs, and presents an economic opportunity for our country that we cannot afford to ignore.