As I sit at my computer, with the fan blowing to cool me down, my coffee percolating in the
kitchen, while downstairs the water is heating up after my shower, and the freezer continues to keep the food
frozen, I realize just how dependant I am on energy, whether it is gas for cooking, or electricity for all the
appliances in the house. Where would I be without it?
One daughter works in a restaurant, but during a recent power cut, they were able to stay open and served food
by using the gas cookers, and candle power for light. Very romantic, but there was no electricity to run the coffee
machine, no ice cubes for the water, and no pop either. We rely on electricity so much, that when it's not
there, even for a short time, life becomes unbearable. Food without coffee? - unthinkable!
At the other end of the spectrum is my other daughter, who spent a few summers on a remote island which had no
power at all. How did she cope? Well, they used solar energy form solar panels to provide the power to
run a cell phone - for emergencies, as there were bears, and wolves on the island - and to provide light in
the evening. Gas was used for cooking, but that had to be brought in by boat, as did the food every couple of
weeks when the weather allowed the boats to get there. So even though the experience was one of many hardships, and
the basics were few, power was still needed, and needed to run the boats too.
So where is this leading? We all agree that we need power to live the lives that we currently know. I think very
few of us would be inclined to go back to energy-less days. Imagine, a life without computers, without cars,
without refrigerators. I can't! But where can we get the energy we need for all these appliances without distroying
I have already mentioned solar energy, obtained from solar panels that can be used to harness the sun's rays.
But what if you don't live where there is much sunshine? Wind energy is being used more these days, and there are wind farms being established
to make use of the energy that the wind provides. Bio-diesel is being used to power cars and boats, using recycled vegetable oils, but
it is also possible to run a car using water.
And not only is this energy available, it is renewable energy - the sun will go on shining, the wind will
continue to blow, we can grow vegetables to make biodiesel fuel - and can be a much cheaper source for us, if
we take the trouble to use it.
In other words, we are able to use what nature provides us with, and this can be very cost saving. Is it
something that individuals can benefit from? Yes, there are the means available for everyone to use these
alternative methods for powering their homes, and it can lead to a good saving from the regular energy sources
Take a look at the following pages for more information on how you can build your own windmill, or make your own biodiesel fuel, or use solar panels for your home. You may be surprised just how easy it is to take
advantage of this free energy!