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Environmental Science - Essay Example

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Solar energy is a potential source of energy that can make Denver self-sufficient to satisfy its energy needs. The Denver Solar Now has installed a…
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20 April Environmental Science: Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency in Energy in Denver
Denver is among the very few cities around the world which have taken solid measures in order to ensure sustainable development. Solar energy is a potential source of energy that can make Denver self-sufficient to satisfy its energy needs. The Denver Solar Now has installed a solar electric system of 29-kilowatt at the SarahCare at DTC which has made the Adult Day Care Center able to satisfy its electricity requirements. “We feel very strongly that as business owners it is our responsibility to respect the environment and do what we can to keep SarahCare’s carbon footprint as small as possible” (Butler and Gornbein cited in “Denver Solar Now”).
Denver has taken many initiatives in the past in an effort to become self-sufficient in terms of energy needs. For example, Greenprint Denver promoted the development of a joint group of businesses, and city departments. This group was called the Neighborhood Energy Action Partnership (NEAP). The objective of NEAP is to make use of the local non-profits so that community outreach can be organized. Providing the residents with energy audits is a potential way to increase their awareness and motivation to save energy. Denver should install subsidized smart meters to lower their cost for the residents and hence, enhance their adoption.
The best way for Denver to reduce its carbon footprint as well as the demand for fuel is by introducing the public bike-sharing system, regulation of traffic jams and reduction of carbon emissions being two of the major requirements of sustainable development. The bike system saves on gasoline through its link with buses and trains so that a whole web of substitute transportation is spinned in Denver. This builds resilience into the transport system so that the reliance on one type of transportation is reduced. Presently, over 400 bikes have been located at 50 bike stations in the public areas to ensure maximal usability. Success of the Denver Bike Sharing program can be estimated from the fact that more than 96000 single rides have been recorded along with a procurement of over 1765 yearly memberships (Peterson, Matthews and Weingard 17). A significant population of the residents of Denver acquires the bikes on per-day basis and pays the fee accordingly.
In order to increase the popularity of energy-conservation programs among the residents, there needs to be a concerted effort made by Denver. This can be achieved by creating awareness in the masses through demonstration of the usability of such programs on TV, schools and all public forums. Denver should link the participation of residents with rewards, so that the residents feel intrinsically motivated to participate in such programs. Denver has taken a number of steps in this regard. “The Blitz program is designed and executed by neighborhood “Green Teams” consisting of residents who volunteer to go door-to-door canvassing community to inform their neighbors of available energy programs…for low-income residences, including options for renters” (Peterson, Matthews, and Weingard 11). Such community-wide efforts prove beneficial in getting the public on board with the plan.
Works Cited:
“Denver Solar Now: News and Events.” 2012. Web. 20 April 2012.
Peterson, D., Matthews, E., and Weingard, M. “Local Energy Plans in Practice: Case
Studies of Austin and Denver.” March 2011. Web. 20 April 2012. . Read More
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