Alternative Energy

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Alternative energy is not merely a way to decrease our dependence on power companies, such as PG&E. In the long run, it would cut down on fossil fuel use and cut pollution of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Even the government acknowledges in many ways that we are rapidly exhausting fossil fuels.

These natural energy sources are finite; they are no longer being produced by the earth. The problem is, the industrial world is absolutely dependent on these sources that took millions of years to produce from organic matter lodged in the earth's crust. If we are to survive, we must look to other options that are cheaper, cleaner, and are not extracted from our land.

Options for the Present

First and foremost, solar energy systems are available and practical. Even a few years ago, conventional financing institutions would not consider involvement with solar installation. Today, the California Energy Commission (CEC) maintains a list of organizations that finance solar costs.

Wind is another feasible alternative energy source that is currently being used near Palm Springs in Southern California, and on the hills and passes east of Oakland. In fact, wind is the fastest growing renewable energy source. Both solar and wind energy are natural elements of our environment, and they can be harnessed for beneficial purposes without depleting them.

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