What can we do today to save the world of tomorrow?
With the growing energy needs of our world, there needs to be some idea of how we can stop this tragic occurrence. I was lucky enough to get in touch with a truly inspirational individual and interview him about his personal and professional opinions regarding the causes and possible solutions to these energy problems.
Keith Rohman, a Residential Solar PV Installer at Namaste Solar, and I have been in correspondence via email and he allowed me the privilege of picking his brain. Rohman graduated from the Renewable Energy program at Illinois State University with a minor in business environment and sustainability from the State Farm College of Business. With this winning combination of education and experience, he is truly the perfect man for the job.
At this point, the idea of renewable energy being good and fossil fuels being bad might be made painstakingly clear but sometimes the most obvious ideas can be overlooked. Rohman’s minor in business might be the missing link when looking at these difficult solutions.
Supply and demand are what drive the world today. Energy is not an exception to this rule. Take the U.S. for example; we have huge energy demands but there is mostly a steady supply of energy at a constant rate. In peak hours on a hot summer day the average American could be cranking their air conditioning on high and enjoying their comfortable indoor climate. The problem is when half of the country decides to use this energy devouring device to get a break from the heat and “This means that demand will peak on those hot summer days.” (Rohman, para 5). As I have explained before, we try to combat these issues by storing water in elevated water reserves and harness additional energy in this time of need. Problem solved, right?
Not even close.
Keith has a much simpler solution and it is the very thing that is causing the problem; the sun. If the sun is bearing down on us and making us hot, then why not just use that to our advantage? Using photovoltaic solar panels to gather this resource could alleviate the immense strain on the power grid so that we can “meet that peak demand at the perfect time” (Rohman, para 5). Using this same idea, a homeowner could take advantage of the lower electricity dependant months when they can still gather this energy. In doing so, May and September could actually generate a personal surplus of energy. In the end, you can even receive a check from your provider for the surplus energy that you returned to the grid.
Put simply, “ Everything needs to work together” (Rohman para 6) for a real change to begin.
The first step in the Scientific Method, a formal process for solving problems, is to make objective observations that describe a problem. Anybody and everybody that contributes to the consumption of electricity needs to be held accountable. We all need to be mature enough to see how we contribute and recognize that we are responsible for what happens to this planet. To our home.
The task of combatting the world’s energy crisis may be daunting but it is imperative that we do something, anything, to fight back before it is too late. As an average American citizen, I relied on Keith Rohman for any final insight that he could provide on where to start. Deceptively simple; “Conversation. Conversation. Conversation.” (para 11) is the most important part of the solution. He recommends that we raise awareness and spread the word. The solution has to start somewhere. “ Policy will move away from personal financial interests to the holistic wealth of the world on both the national and local level.” explains Rohman for how change will inevitably occur, “It is just a matter of time.”