Vail Daily’s Don Rogers: A power source of its own |

Vail Daily’s Don Rogers: A power source of its own

There’s enough potential in efficiency and conservation to qualify as a whole ‘nother power source.

The Public Utilities Commission in California counts conservation victories by the new power plants that won’t have to be built.

This won’t be enough on its own, of course.

As MIT Professor Donald Sadoway put it in a TED conference this year: “If we’re going to get this country out of its current energy situation, we can’t conserve our way out, we can’t drill our way out, we can’t bomb our way out. We’re going to do it the old-fashioned American way. We’re going to invent our way out.”

A fact the enviro crowd doesn’t like to accept any more than conservatives believing in global warming is that renewables still are a ways off from taking over as the power source.

That’s why folks a lot sharper than me, and not just shills for the industry, acknowledge that natural gas has tremendous potential as the bridge fuel between our reliance on filthy foreign fossils and that nirvana, home-grown and carbon free — cue the music and rainbows.

Innovation in solar efficiency eventually will make this powerhouse the standard, with way more energy production than we can imagine now.

Couple that with innovation in battery storage, and renewable energy will overcome that infamous “intermittency” problem that keeps this use limited on the power grid today.

Innovation will vastly improve the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, the power grid, nuclear facilities, you name it. Interestingly enough, nearly all of that innovation is happening in … the United States.

That’s right, we’re doing most of the inventing.

Big gains that are attainable right now have nothing to do with innovation, however. They are about something unfortunately in short supply here: personal responsibility.

The single biggest energy conservation step we can take now is properly insulating our homes and other buildings. Next is using more efficient light bulbs. This isn’t particularly expense or difficult to do.

So why don’t we just do it? This is a bigger mystery than than the Higgs boson.

I have more faith in our science than our everyday habits, I’m afraid.

We have the capacity to make simple conservation the equivalent of finding a whole carbon-free, cheap, domestic energy resource.

And that resource is right there, looking at us in the mirror.

Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at or 970-748-2920.

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