by Abhishek Agarwal

Young people need to be educated about the production of alternative energy and the most successful way, as witnessed by the writer, is by using the PicoTurbine Company’s books, projects and kits. PicoTurbine has produced these products in order to educate young people about the environment which they will inherit by looking at the advances in alternative or renewable energy, the seeds of their future. If we are to change the future world for the better, then it starts right here and now with the advent of the “green” energy systems.

There is an old adage which states: “Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember some of it. Involve me, and I will master it”, which has been tried and tested. It has become a core concept of PicoTurbine in producing kits which encourage young people to learn hands-on by the activities that are suggested, so they can see for themselves. One such suggestion by the company is the demonstration of how wind energy can produce heat (a specialty of the company), which uses a “picture wire” as the heating element. People naturally would think that wind energy would produce some king of “cold” energy as discovered by PicoTurbine, so it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn how in fact the use of wind in our homes can generate heat. The company also offers another suggestion that in a classroom, different groups are made up, so that can build their own wind turbines and then the results compared respectively. This is exciting for young children especially, as they are then able to see which one can produce the most electricity in comparison to the one with the least; the ones that require the least quantity of wind power; and most aesthetically appealing wind turbine of all of them.

Included in PicoTurbine’s renewable and alternative energy sources are biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric and solar energy as well as wind-produced energy. By using these alternative energy sources, we decrease the nation’s dependence for using foreign oil supplies, that have to be bought from nations which are not known “allies”, also making it more expensive for our country. It is seen to be cost-effective and is becoming more so, to use alternative energy, in comparison to the use of fossil fuels which we currently are reliant upon.

As pointed out by PicoTurbine, it is already a commercial success for those in the production of wind farms and solar energy plants. During the last twenty years, photovaltaic cells have gone from costing almost $1000 down to only $4 per watt. Predictions show that by the year 2015, analysts have the cost per watt down to only $1 (by today’s prices).

The hidden costs of fossil fuels should be taught to students, and what can lead to environmental pollution and degradation. There are many health risks, as the burning of fossil fuels causes a air pollution, increasing the cases of asthma, allergies and other serious health detriments. Therefore the importance of switching to cleaner, green energy is paramount and it should be stressed to young people.