“In Rock Port, Mo., spinning turbines already are producing more than 100 percent of the town’s annual energy requirements.
While Rock Port, and the state of Minnesota, are focused on wind, other states and communities are emphasizing solar. The technology is more compact and less obtrusive, especially in urban and suburban areas. California is spending millions on a “Million Solar Roofs” project to help property owners install solar arrays, while Gainesville, Fla., and several states are experimenting with special tariffs and incentives to promote solar.
Federal authorities are investing billions through grants and tax breaks to promote alternative power. President Obama predicted this year that renewable fuel capacity will double in “the next few years.”
Renewable fuels “will continue to take over the market because they have lower costs and lower financial risks than central thermal,” predicted Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado think tank. “It’s driven by economics and its driven by climate and security concerns. And all three are going in the same direction.”