In 2005, San Diego County imported energy, electricity and natural gas, costing us over $1-Billion (not counting transportation fuels, or long term infrastructure costs).
That is $1-Billion that left our economy to pay for energy, most of it wasted through inefficiency. Today we are in the middle of a recession, looking for ways to save money, to create jobs, to become more productive. Now, we have the opportunity to free ourselves from the long term trap that uses our lives to pay outsiders for our energy.
Ecological Designer, Jim Bell, and UCSD's Heather Honea, Ph.D., wrote us a plan in 2007. Their analysis came to the conclusion that even without any local, State, or Federal Government subsidies, it makes pure economic sense to transform San Diego's energy economy over to diversified, local, renewable energy.
Their plan, titled "NET-METERING", calls for 'Community Choice Aggregation Ordinances' that ask all current energy users to reform their energy consumption, implement conservation and efficiency measures, like those called for under the ARRA, and smartly cut usage by 40%. Then uses the energy cost savings from those measures to implement renewable energy projects, like Solar Photo-Voltaics, on a neighborhood scale, to supply the remaining 60%+ electricity we need.
Once we collectively choose to begin down this path, there is a net savings to our economy, and a net increase in local jobs and resources. That means we keep at least $1-Billion dollars in the local economy every year, assuming both our population and the price of imported energy were to stay constant. With that extra capital, we can innovate, educate, and even export energy. Imagine that?
If the average cost of electricity in San Diego County is just ten-cents per kilowatt-hour, then the 2010 cost of energy is $1.6-Billion, in negative cash flow. We can end our dependence on foreign energy supplies, we can increase our energy security, and can keep the money in San Diego County.
We don't need to build more power plants nor power-links to other areas. We don't have to worry about future energy-cost increases, nor brown-outs. No more carbon fuel polluting the atmosphere, no more atomic energy risking catastrophe. We might even choose to create fresh water from the sea using the excess green energy we create?
That is what I call a truly SUSTAINABLE FUTURE!
Want to read more? Visit JimBell.com and read the study for yourself.