Copyright 2019 by Flower Turbines

Lots of debate is now raging in the United States about various levels of schemes to promote renewables. All are well-intentioned, but some are downright crazy, and many require subsidizing solutions that are not optimal or not economically or scientifically viable. I’d like to contribute to the debate by starting a series on how renewables can be promoted in a way that makes economic sense.

My first suggestion is relatively easy!

The suggestion is to encourage or require renewable energy and sustainable solutions in new buildings and projects.

It is much cheaper to “build in” than to retrofit. This is obvious to everyone, but it seems to have escaped the attention of most governments. Here are some examples:

-Sometimes companies wait to install wind or solar on their roofs until their roof is ready for replacement, but that problem does not exist for a new roof.

-It is more expensive to redo lighting plans and air conditioning systems after they are built.

-A new water pipeline could come with electricity-producing pressure breakers. (see

-A new neighborhood could come with its own pumped storage electricity backup as part of a microgrid.

Setting some simple legislative guidelines that are reasonable will be one step towards a market solution for renewables that creates wealth. The requirements could be legislated in many ways, depending on local conditions (not doing pumped storage in a desert area or overdoing solar in northern latitudes) and aspirations, for example:

-Every new house needs to be carbon neutral.

-Every new house should include a certain dollar amount of energy producing equipment and/or insulation, and that the mortgage lender needs to allow for that (as the initial house cost will be higher, but it will pay back in terms of effectively increasing the consumer’s disposable income).

-Required electrical vehicle charging stations in new parking lots.

These measures are just examples of how legislative focus on new building could accelerate the development of clean energy and lower the pollution levels. And the economy won’t have to go broke to support it.