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Renewable energy sources scarce, but there's plenty of energy to save

This wasn’t a new story, but it was to me. So, I was a little disappointed to read about the dangers of wind power. Dangers? From a clean, renewable energy source? Yes, the magnets used to build wind farm turbines are made of the rare earth metal neodymium, which, while not toxic itself, creates a mess of the environment when it is mined.

Many New England residents and even the late Sen. Ted Kennedy fought wind farm development off Cape Cod, but it wasn’t really because of neodymium. It was about the view. Either way, it’s an example of how we can find so many issues with alternatives to fossil fuels. Let’s take a look at the energy hit list: Coal, bad; oil, running out; nuclear, fugetaboutit. Read about what hydroelectric dam projects are doing to the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. Now, wind. Is there any solution that isn’t a danger to people or the environment?

Well, there’s conservation for starters, and solar. I’ve given kudos to one office park developer that is turning the roofs of its parking garages into solar power stations.

And now a nod to Kevin Soohoo, director of IT at Air Systems Inc., a finalist for the Green IT Award of SearchCIO-Midmarket’s 2012 IT Leadership Awards. Soohoo, who also is a finalist for the Outstanding Midmarket IT Leader of the Year Award, has deployed a variety of power-saving gadgets and systems throughout his company, including smart power strips, solar keyboards and PC power management. Though small, each contribution to energy conservation adds up big on energy cost savings and usage. It’s a good place to start for all of us.

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