It’s time to take renewable energy seriously

Jasper Johnson

About a decade ago, it seemed like talks on renewable energy were only focused on investment in research. However, in the last couple of years, many new and innovative products have come to market. Electric cars are the best on the road, and solar panel technology, for example, is more feasible than ever. This means that we as a society are going to face a major crossroads between traditional and renewable energy in the next few years. To me, the decision is obvious: We will need massive investments in renewable energy technology and advanced infrastructure. 
It seems that over the past several months we have seen some of the limitations of portable technology. Wearable tech has been a disappointment, and phones have become thinner and thinner, but their usefulness has not greatly increased. 
The next big shift is going to be toward energy technology and infrastructure. This is something that society has to wholeheartedly embrace. The all-electric Tesla Model S has taken the auto world by storm, and this past week, Tesla introduced the Powerwall, a home battery system. These innovations allow for energy infrastructures to be much more reliable and efficient. 
We have reached the point where it’s time to make a big decision about the efficiency and sustainability of our society’s energy. The research phase is done, and we now have the capabilities for advanced infrastructure and sustainable energy. I hope for a renewal of investment in science and technology only outdone by the Space Race. 
We already have the capabilities to move away from fossil fuels. Self-driving cars have already been created and are about to be mass-produced. Drones are growing in popularity and usefulness. Yet sadly, from a governmental standpoint, little has been done to accommodate for these advancements. Oil subsidies still are embarrassingly large, and Amazon even had to test its delivery drones in Canada because of United States regulations. 
The transition away from fossil fuels cannot perpetually be relegated as research for today and a lofty goal for tomorrow. The goal is now all too attainable for us to push it off any longer. The problem is that shifting away from fossil fuels would require an overhaul of the electrical infrastructure in the U.S. 
Likewise, massive public works projects are long overdue. Space travel is routine, and drones are prolific, yet public funding of both seems to be only focused on space research and homeland security or military operations. 
Our country needs to invest more in adventurous undertakings of sustainability and technology infrastructure if we want to see large-scale changes. Not only does the government need to break down barriers for private companies to innovate in these fields, but it actually needs to promote sustainable energy and creative, technology-based infrastructure through government investment.