For thousands of years, people relied solely on the light of the sun and the heat of fires to power their daily lives. Then, in 1879, Thomas Edison filed a patent for the electric incandescent lightbulb. In the 137 years since then, our world has expanded in ways that could never have been possible without the availability of 24/7 illumination.
Paying homage to the benefits that energy innovations have generated for mankind, and reminding Americans not to take them for granted, President George W. Bush decided in 1991 to name October National Energy Awareness Month.
Here are four reasons to celebrate Energy Awareness Month this year:
- Energy innovation helps us understand the world around us. Perhaps the most exciting thing about innovation in technology is that the more our inventive capabilities evolve, the quicker innovative new products come to market. For instance, expanding availability of energy made advances in the telecommunications sector possible, leading to the growth of the Internet. This, in turn, lets us have instant, affordable global connections and access to information about nearly every imaginable subject. Scientists are also gaining a greater understanding of very nature of life at Europe’s CERN Laboratory by using a massive energy-consuming particle accelerator. In many other ways, energy innovation is enabling further study of our universe and advancements in every industry back here on Earth from medicine to education to agriculture.
- We’re no longer just energy consumers. Recent advances in alternative energy have made it possible to not simply consume resources to produce energy, but actually create and harvest renewable energy. Scientists today are learning how to cultivate biofuels in laboratories. Outside the lab, we’re learning how to harness the kinetic energy of the environment, and transform waste and emissions into reusable resources. As solar panels emerge in our neighborhoods and wind turbines appear on the horizon, we stand on the precipice of a new day where we can use power we need while leaving the world better than we found it.
- Energy innovation has unlocked developing economies. A confluence of factors is helping to reduce energy prices: a growing number of energy sources and suppliers, and better efficiency in harnessing and transporting energy. As prices come down, not only does the average homeowner benefit, but electricity is becoming more widely available in developing countries around the world, improving the lives of all those who can now access it.
- You have more energy choices than ever. In many states, businesses and homeowners have the option to select their energy provider. Energy choice has opened the door to a supplier competition, which facilitates better pricing and a greater range of options for their electricity needs.
Amid all the big picture benefits already mentioned lie some simpler, personal perks. Every time you enjoy a hot shower, send a text or reheat leftover pizza, you are benefitting from the efforts of energy visionaries like Thomas Edison. Be sure to take a few moments this October during National Energy Awareness Month to celebrate the energy we use every day and the innovators who continue to push the limits of what is possible. Check out more blogs about exciting news in energy innovation by clicking here.