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Renewable Energy is a Complementary Source of Power

Emerging renewable energy sources such as fuel cell technology, hydroelectric power, wind power, geothermal energy, and biodegradable waste are gaining traction, showing potential as complementary sources of energy alongside traditional sources of power. However, before this vision can be fully realized, the technology must be further developed, and active and passive solar technologies must be diversified.

In the past two years, solar energy has been the fastest-growing energy industry in the United States, creating 50,000 jobs, with growth projected to double in 2011. According to the non-profit Solar Foundation, industry-related contracting, electrician and sales positions are growing at a phenomenal rate of 40 to 66 percent. If the various US tax programs offering credits, incentives and grants for solar use are extended beyond 2011, the industry will be poised to lead the way in environmentally-friendly energy integration.

Yet, these developments must be accompanied by corresponding efforts to extract natural resources in a minimally invasive manner. There are hopeful possibilities, as demonstrated by the development of coal-burning technology over the last four decades. Steven F. Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute observed, “The amount of coal used in the United States has tripled since 1970, but over the same time period, sulfur dioxide emissions from coal have declined by 54 percent.” This is thanks in part to cost-effective scrubbers, which are used to remove much of the sulfur dioxide emissions. With the recent discovery of massive reserves of oil and natural gas in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania, such developments will clearly remain relevant.

We must integrate our natural resources, starting by harnessing the power of the sun. If such positive steps are taken, governments can establish more coherent national energy policies and continue to create jobs at an exponential rate, not just in the United States, but everywhere.

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