It’s the 4th of July and the celebration is on for freedoms thought through and made real for the American portion of mankind now some 230 years on. There is a list of complaints about federal efforts to cut those freedoms back, but on the whole we’ve slipped but a little. The scary one though, is something that government can only grant incentives or penalties – energy independence.

Who might be seen as having the direst need for an energy system that is as close to fully independent as possible? Israel is the obvious place as it has no coal, a pittance of oil, a nuclear program that antagonizes the neighbors and little in the way of natural resources to get anything supplied with steel, aluminum or other construction commodities. The past two summers have seen electrical blackouts, coal plants are planned that just add to the 99.8% fossil fuel supply problem when a 2003 study suggested that more people are dying from air pollution than traffic accidents. Worst of all is the dearth of fresh water that drives the need to desalinate seawater for potable water supplies. And you thought things were tough where you live.

But Israel has lots of sunshine and breezes to put to work and they’re getting intensely focused now that the improvements and innovations have worldwide markets.

Dov Raviv, the fellow who developed the Arrow missiles is working on a gear system to increase the efficiency of wind turbines and other ideas.

Isaac Berzin

Isaac Berzin is a chemist involved in the US startup of GreenFuel and voted a Time magazine top 100 influential person is one leader of a forum in Israel that meets every month. Now the forum is bursting out of its site with investors, entrepreneurs and business development people not just from Israel, but from all over the world.

So from grazing the internet one sees the people on the razor’s edge looking at wind, solar both thermal and photovoltaic and algae as the leading candidates for paths to a secure future. Like lots of other countries the problem is government.

Israel is a democracy and brings all the delays, varied points of view and compromises to the discussion at the political level. It’s a problem for the early points of getting out of the way for development and supporting conversation and efficiency to get fast benefits.

I think that is the lesson – government need not be choosing winners before the best directions are fully known, and should be active in supporting the obvious, getting purchasing of the tools used for work as efficient as possible and adopted as quickly as possible. That can be anything from incentives to fast tracking approvals that make sense in nationwide benefits.

As we saw yesterday a lot of what will come is looking for market demand. Toyota will sell what people want to buy. Its so early now that products that will make the big differences are unavailable nor are there wide arrays of examples to see and make much news.

From what we’re seeing over the past year on these pages is that “independence” for energy and fuels is a practical albeit long-term goal. Gains in efficiency would do two things, reduce the total energy demand and so make more available for new work and should, if made available fast enough, reduce costs.

There is an abundance of energy to harvest, far more than humanity can use so far. Its getting it harvested and converted into useful forms of energy and fuels that is the issue only to be led by tools that will use the new harvest efficiently.

Another year will see a lot of improvements, breakthroughs and new ideas and innovations. Meanwhile every bit of energy and fuel you don’t use will make you wealthier and those investments made that are more efficient or conserve will help promote the next set of better, more efficient products.

An Independence Day for a nation’s freedoms today can become a marker for progress in independence in energy and fuels every year. My list of things to do to get closer to my energy and fuel independence include a better water heater, more efficient heat pump, and if finances can handle it a higher gallons per mile personal transporter. The goal is to cut 25% in the next 12 months. I seem to have a lot of “low hanging fruit to exploit in conservation and efficiency. How about you?

Here’s wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!


1 Comment so far

  1. on May 10, 2014 4:41 AM

    The View From the Razor’s Edge of Energy Independence | New Energy and Fuel

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