Capitalizing on Alternative Energy


As oil prices soar and the credit debacle deepens, people are looking for investments that will provide long-term security.  This is making so-called green technologies a topic of much debate:  Montana’s Governor Schweitzer backs corporate interests in ‘clean coal’ technologies that remain largely unproven and are guaranteed to make coal production much less energy (and cost) efficient, but he is no worse than politicians in mid western states who are backing corn-based E85 despite mounting evidence that it is an environmental disaster and direct threat to our nation’s food supply–and more importantly, that it is a net energy sink which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and foreign investment. Third world countries and endangered rain forests are being decimated while our politicians and media lie through their teeth, their owners making money hand-over-fist thanks to our rogue federal government.

Greenwashing has become commonplace in politics and media, but savvy investors are still finding ways to capitalize on alternative energy and help inch us towards energy independence. We may still have a long way to go, but their efforts are already beginning to produce tangible results and real opportunities for individuals to become more self-sufficient. One example of this is the wind industry, which has literally been turned on its ear.

Although most people assume that the most efficient design for wind turbines is the classic ‘prop’ style, this is not the case. Vertical axis wind turbines or VAWTs typically resemble an old barber’s pole more than a propeller, and have far less moving parts than their horizontal competitors. Not only does this lead to increased energy conversion efficiency, it also cuts down severely on upfront costs and future maintenance worries. The end result is a turbine which is aesthetically pleasing, poses no threat to birds and makes virtually no noise (depending on the quality of the manufacturer, of course.)

Vertical axis turbines can create much more torque in a given radius, have lower cut-in speeds and even produce energy in extreme high-wind conditions which force horizontal axis turbines to shut down. Harnessing the power of 30, 50 or even 70 mph winds creates a huge amount of energy very quickly, as was recently demonstrated by TMA Global Wind Energy Systems. Their prototype located in Cheyenne, Wyoming is pictured below; mass production is slated to begin later this year.

Although this prototype is designed to take advantage of Wyoming’s windy plains, the general idea can be applied virtually anywhere. High-rise buildings and residential rooftops throughout Europe and the Middle East are already taking advantage of vertical axis turbines, with the most dramatic example being Dubai’s plans to make a skyscraper which rotates its floors individually while providing excess power to the grid thanks to the vertical-axis turbines located between the floors. The Dubai government has built an empire out of sand over the past decade and is now leading the way towards a truly sustainable society. If our own government is serious about addressing our dismal economy and oil dependency, they would do well to take a few pointers from the world’s fastest growing international trade center (Dubai.)

Unfortunately, our Congress is currently doing just the opposite: they still have not renewed tax credit incentives that are essential to the growth of solar, wind and other green technologies necessary for the future. Taxpayers are screaming for government to get us off of oil and onto renewable resources, but the only legislature being passed is for more oil exploration and warmongering. Arabs have used their wealth and ingenuity to create the world’s first zero emission skyscraper while our government squanders Billions of dollars and Billions of Watts of energy in order to build bigger and more nefarious weapon systems (look up HAARP.) We get an ionospheric heater that has the potential to alter weather and brain waves, and has even been accused of triggering disastrous earthquakes throughout the world; they get a building which actually produces more energy than it uses, and even looks good doing it–check out the video clip below.

We may not have a government intelligent enough to invest in our future or finance projects like this, but a growing number of us can actually afford to capitalize on the revolution which is now occurring the wind industry. TMA’s vertical axis turbine is just one example of the next generation of wind turbines, dozens of competitors have recently announced plans to expand their own VAWT offerings. Although there will be more turbines to choose from in the near future, a number of high-quality vertical axis turbines are already on the market. If you are interested in weaning yourself off of fossil fuels then check out some of the models pictured below, and don’t forget to remind your Congressional Representative that renewable energy is essential to our future–apparently some of them still haven’t figured that one out yet. 

The Pacwind Delta II, endorsed by Jay Leno.

Ropatec Simply Vertical Windrotor 3kW

The QuietRevolution QR5 is already available in the UK, and will be in the US by 2009.

This 1kW VAWT is currently available through Urban Green Energy for under $10,000.

Platek Services is based in Canada, where government incentives are designed to promote solar and wind technologies. More information on these companies and others who are currently bringing this technology to the market can be found here. If you want to know more about why our Congress is putting over 100,000 jobs at risk by failing to support renewable energy programs, this is an interesting article.  If you would like to ask your local members of Congress to support renewable energy and increase incentives for consumer purchases of solar and wind technologies, visit their Online Directory.

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3 Responses to Capitalizing on Alternative Energy

  1. Random T. says:

    I read your blog for a long time and should tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers.

  2. Robert Wong says:

    10,000USD??????

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