We love it when Jigar Shah visits us here at ICOSA. He rolls in here with his brilliant ideas and I swear, we're all smarter just by talking with him. This week, he is our guest on Driving Force Radio, so you too can benefit from his thoughts on energy. Listen to his solutions for making the most of natural resources, and see how they translate to help your business save money, your home run more efficiently, even change your consumer habits. (Maybe even change your voting habits.)
"We have, in our country, all the technologies -we invented them, here, in Colorado, at MIT in Stanford, at the University of Illinois - we invented all the technologies necessary to solve climate change here in this country. We just have to export them around the world." ~ Jigar Shah
What is needed, according to Jigar, is leadership, to share technologies globally. Unfortunately, he says, the government appears to cater to those with the money and the special interests. "The Obama Administration is always couching themselves, saying, 'Well, we don't want to look like we're too far ahead because we want ... all the people who love oil and gas to love us too.'"
Clean energies are positioned to come into their own when government incentives in the form of subsidies end by 2017. That does not hold true for the oil, gas and coal industries which may point to why they are not motivated to change.
"We shouldn't be running the grid in the same way we did in the 1970s but we are. The grid today is run fully on the supply side, so if people want more energy, you turn on another generator. But in the future you can actually shut things off."
Jigar refers to the fact that many homes are empty during the work day, and utilities could turn off power to the vampire loads, or reduce the settings on your refrigerator by a couple degrees, saving ample energy and lots of money. In fact, half of all the electricity production added to the grid in 2012 was renewable energy, and has been throughout the past six years. This speaks to the potential for growth in the solar industry, where subsidies have already been reduced by half, yet the industry has doubled in the past two years.
In the face of all this growth and improvement, why isn't this clean energy being embraced, and implemented? Jigar says it comes from an attitude of, "If it ain't broke, why do we need to fix it?" which is entirely the wrong attitude in an age of technological advancements, where everything is constantly changing. Says Jigar, "We actually have computers now, so ... get into the 21st century." He acknowledges with wry cynicism that it is difficult for government to move ahead even when its own services, like the U.S. Postal Service, would be the perfect test markets for natural gas vehicles and using solar energy, aren't. When those fleets, and U.S. military bases join in with companies like UPS and Staples to implement clean energy into their business plans, the infrastructure will be better established and more affordable for all citizens. That's when things will really change.
To hear more about the work Jigar Shah is doing to move clean energy forward, don't miss Driving Force Radio on Saturday at 10:00 AM on KNUS 710.
You can also link the podcast here, or watch our video version below.
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