Whether you consider yourself environmentally-minded or not, green is fast becoming the new black. Everywhere you look, from billboard ads to the Academy Awards, the nation is becoming preoccupied with renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gases. As gas-guzzling SUVs are eagerly traded in for gas/electric hybrid cars, the move to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil is also heating up the political arena, and when government incentives come to the table, money does all the talking.
Wind and Hydro
"There are two ways you can take advantage of wind technology," says Dana Saucier, co-founder of Accent Energy, a supplier of electricity, natural gas and green energy to several states (including New York) with offices in New York City, Ohio, California, and Texas. "The first is that you can put a windmill on the building, which presents a problem in Manhattan: you may not have a clear view of the sky. The more traditional way is to tap the energy made by windmill farms in other locations."
"You can purchase this energy in different ways," continues Saucier. "You can buy energy made in New York, in the region (Northeast), or you can purchase it nationally, and even internationally."
"There are degrees of green," explains Saucier. "Wind is traditionally considered the 'greenest' of the green energy sources. Solar is another very green source. Hydroelectric is also high on the list, although some people cite the necessity to dam up rivers as a drawback, but it is green and it is renewable."
Commonly used sources, like fossil fuels, tend to be less expensive, while wind tends to be the most expensive because it is not as available as other sources. The efficiencies of the new technologies are constantly improving however, making the final cost come down little by little.