In a recent article by Carter Eskew, a valid point is brought up about power companies being on the verge of downsizing due to more and more residences and businesses being energy sustaining. While Eskew paints the future in a bleak color in the article, does it really have to be as bad as the author suggests? Or could this be another instance of where a company is too big to fail and is bailed out by the federal government?
While some of the power companies have been fighting “premature” technologies, others have embraced them. Power plants such as those operated by Georgia Power are going to shift to renewable sources as 15 oil and coal-based plants are planned to be shut down by 2016. The offset of power is to be maintained by solar generation methods. While this only attributes to 20-percent of GPs generation methods, it could be a trend that can help power companies survive. If the electricity bills could diminish to a point to entice a customer to stay with grid-based power systems, companies like GP could remain in business without drastic actions being taken.
The impact of power plants shutting down due to inactivity is more widespread than merely the plant itself. Coal miners and those related to the oil industry could find themselves with fewer and fewer customers. This means that there will be no need for drivers, train transportation of coal, dangerous mining and other aspects of collecting the fuel to power one of these plants.
Planning for the Future
In the circumstance of a power company shutting down, the only way a “bail-out” fund would work is if the company puts that into producing its own green energy methods at a lower cost in order to engage those who demand such. Eventually, the cost of technology will decrease so far that nearly anyone would be able to afford solar or wind powered methods. A plan needs to be developed now for the future if these power companies are determined to stay open.
In Victoria, solar methods are being developed that are 500 times more powerful than those that are install on rooftops. It’s only a matter of time before a single “tracking dish” can be installed on a home in order to provide the same amount of power as a full sized array. If this technology can be scaled down for practicality, a solar array on a home would be no larger than the television service dish many homeowners have currently installed.
Technology advances at a rapid pace as long as the interest in such is genuine. As more and more homeowners and businesses look towards self-sustaining methods, power companies will begin to feel the impact. This will undoubtedly cause a trickle effect long the line of supply for these power plants. Does it mean that the unemployment rates will skyrocket due to cutbacks? It shouldn’t. Currently, there are many companies for wind and solar that are looking for installers. These companies will give everything the individual needs in order to install renewable energy products. A new career path could be within the grasp of those who are willing to take the opportunity.
Our main methods of power generation are antiquated and those involved need to be pulled into the 21st century. Fracking for oil is causing additional damage to the environment, and occupational hazards for coal miners is absurd – life expectancy of a coal miner is roughly 53 years old. The people need to set greed aside and look towards a more rewarding future for our grandchildren.
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