Much is made of the effort to convert the economies of the world off the tempting black gold and natural gas.
It is true that Man has exploited these resources in an effective way to build up societies and develop our communities. It is also true that the control of these resources is limited to a select few, who have a vested interest in keeping control of it.
But their time maybe coming to an end. The oil is running out, and eventually the gas will too. The foundations of these fossil fuels have taken millions of years to lay down, and we have exhausted them in a matter of four or five human generations.
The Industrial Revolution that started in England in the 1700s is going to have to adapt to survive, and it is doing just that. Yet there are still heated arguments about the remaining drips of oil, and how we are going to get at it.
One of the arguments is that of ‘peak oil’ and whether or not we have passed its time. The point of this conversation is to distract the general populations into accepting ever higher and higher prices, for what should be a communal resource.
However, there is a more universal set of resources that we can use. The universal nature of wind, rain and sunshine means that individuals can harness these energy resources and power our modern lives without recourse to the State.
It is possible to use solar power to provide hot water and electricity, wind power to provide electricity as well as ground / air source heat pumps to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer.
We do not have to be reliant on Big Business for our energy needs ever again.
The New Industrial Revolution is upon us, and I am coming to the point of my article. The doomsayers and pessimists amongst us point at the variation of renewable energy sources and the variability of energy production and create fear among normal people. This has the desired effect of confirming our reliance on Big Business and ‘Old Energy’.
Yet as a person, a human being I consume a number of different energy sources to power me. I eat different types of food, drink different types of drink and sunbathe in my garden. All of these different renewable energy sources combine to provide a reliant source of energy. Just like the wider world.
Planet Earth is just the same. There are a multitude of energy sources that we can use to meet our energy needs. The use of solar, wind, biomass, ground and air source heating can provide enough energy to sustain a modern lifestyle. It is certain that all sources will not be appropriate for all locations, but neither is the need that we all have to be served our energy the same way.
Some of us will rely on ‘alternative’ power stations serving communities, and some of us will be able to rely on self-sufficient power sources collected within our own homes. I am part of this world, and I do not need to plunder irreversibly in the search for energy. The World provides us our energy for free, and there is no reason why we cannot harness that and take our own responsibility for its provision.
My individual biological energy needs mirror that of the energy needs of modern life.
I am a hybrid, and it proves that renewables can power the world.