This post is part of an ongoing series. To access all the profiles in this series, visit The Year Ahead.
Who: Warren Leon, director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, a public agency that funds and advances clean energy technologies, and co-author of The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices.
Eco-resolution: I moved this past year and, although I have spent time and money upgrading my new home’s heating system and adding weather stripping, there is still much more to do. Because global warming and air pollution are primarily caused by energy use, my home improvement priorities will focus on that: insulating hot water pipes, reducing the amount of electronic equipment that stays on instant alert when not in use, and doing yet more weather-stripping and insulating. Because this sort of work is mundane and boring, it is easy to put it off, so I need a resolution to make sure I do it promptly.
I also resolve to increase the number of days I carpool to work with a colleague. Outlook for '08: Public concern about global warming and the other environmental and economic problems related to Americans’ heavy dependence on fossil fuels will continue to increase, causing more individuals and businesses to find ways to reduce their energy use. It is harder to predict in which direction governments will move. Policymakers are likely to continue to be increasingly concerned about global warming and our nation’s energy problems, but, if economic conditions change, governments may become more reluctant to pursue policies that require near-term spending on energy improvements, even if that spending will deliver significant economic benefits over time.
Like other technology-leading regions around the world, Massachusetts has seen considerable investment in recent years in companies that are developing new energy and environmental technologies. Much of that investment is leading to new inventions and product improvements. During the coming year, we are likely to see interesting technological advances in solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, energy storage, and other areas.
Got your own energy-related resolutions? Get started with our guides for How to Go Green, including How to Green Your Electricity and How to Green Your Heating. Visit Planet Green for on tips for how to Find, Start a Carpool and Save More Water at Home.