Dr. Anthony O. Parker
Recent increases in energy costs have caused America to consider a reset. The cost of fuel has negatively impacted families, governments, and businesses. Work has already begun on the fix. Cars and trucks weighing less are more fuel-efficient with motors that provide more horsepower. Almost every home has a programmable thermostat with modern, efficient heating and air conditioning units. Most organizations have an energy conservation plan. The current inflationary pressure on the economy by rising energy costs indicates that those plans may be inadequate. At some point, the cost of alternate/renewable /sustainable energy will become competitive with more traditional sources.
Three years ago, I took a trip to Ireland to visit Waterford Technical Institute. While there, I learned that the country was installing electric vehicle charging stations. My host informed me that the plan was that all passenger vehicles sold would be electric in five to ten years. The public transit buses in Albany, Georgia, all run on natural gas. Most of the over-the-road tractor-trailers owned by UPS are powered by natural gas. The Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) celebrates being recognized as a net-zero installation. MCLB produces energy from a large solar farm, geothermal sources, and by burning biomass. Homes and businesses are being constructed to green energy specifications. Amazon is experimenting with a fleet of electric vehicle delivery vans. Volkswagen reports that in ten years, every model that they produce will have an electric vehicle option. Even the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford -150 have electric vehicle options. With or without government incentives, we see the necessity to go forward.
I’m sure that in the dawn of the twentieth century, there were blacksmiths that predicted that the horseless carriage was a fad. They were wrong. We all benefited. Forty percent of farm production no longer needed to be focused on feeding farm horses and oxen. It no longer took the farmer three hours to get the working animals ready and another three hours to get them out of the harness and fed. Suddenly, blacksmiths were replaced by automobiles, trucks, and tractor mechanics. In my opinion, the same scope of change is occurring in 2022. Will we keep pace with the changes?
Albany Technical College offers associate degrees and diplomas in Sustainable-Renewable-Recyclable Energy and Green Energy Construction & Building Maintenance. We will offer an Electric Vehicle service and repair program in our new transportation facility. We will continue to scout over the horizon to determine what should be done in the future. I pledge that we will avoid the mistakes made by blacksmiths in 1890.