An Alternative Energy Education Method

The best method of educating young people about alternative energy production that this writer has ever witnessed is the use of the PicoTurbine Company’s kits, books, and projects. The PicoTurbine Company produces these things for the purpose of advancing the cause of renewable (alternative) energy and getting young people to look into the future and see that the environment that’s being seeded now is the one they will inherit then. As the late, great Gerry Ford said, “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.” If we are to change the future world for the better, then it starts right here and now with the advent of “green” energy systems.

One of the core concepts of PicoTurbine can be stated: Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember some of it. Involve me, and I will master it. Based on this old tried and true adage, the kits that the company produces come with activity suggestions to get the young people into hands-on learning situations. One suggestion of the company is to demonstrate how heat can be produced by wind energy (the company’s specialty) through using a “picture wire” for the heating element. PicoTurbine has found that people typically think of wind energy as being “cold” energy, and are pleasantly surprised to see how wind can be used for generating heat in the home. Another project suggestion that the company offers is to have different groups split off in the classroom and then compare their respective wind turbines that they have built. They can see which ones produce the most or least electricity; which ones start up with need of the least amount of wind power; and for very young children, which ones have the most aesthetic appeal.

There is a core curriculum that PicoTurbine has in mind for teachers to instill in their pupils. Renewable, alternative sources of energy include solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass in addition to wind-produced energy. When we use more alternative sources of energy, we decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil supplies, which often come from nations who cannot really be called our “allies”. Alternative energy is already becoming cost effective when set against the fossil fuels that we are so reliant on currently.

PicoTurbine points out that wind farms and solar arrays are already letting their makers enjoy commercial success. In the last two decades, the cost of photovoltaic cells expressed in terms of per-watt has gone from nearly $1000 to just $4! It has been predicted by analysts that by the year 2015, the cost per watt should only be about $1 (in today’s dollars). Students also need to be taught about the hidden cost of fossil fuels: pollution and environmental degradation. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels has been shown through studies to increase incidences of asthma attacks, heighten the effects of allergies, and even cause cancer. Switching over to clean, green energy found in the alternative forms would prevent air pollution and help bolster the environment.

Email Marketing Mistakes

Many business owners who opt to try email marketing make the mistake of believing any type of email marketing is beneficial. This is simply not true; there are a number of mistakes business owners can make when they organize an email marketing campaign. Examples of these types of mistakes may include allowing promotional materials to be tagged as spam, not following up with promotional emails, not being prepared for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort and not marketing specifically to the target audience.

We will begin our discussion on email marketing mistakes with spam. Spam is a problem which is reaching endemic proportions. Each day Internet users are bombarded with spam from around the world. This may include a host of unsolicited emails which are promoting products or services the recipients may or may not be interested in purchasing. A critical mistake business owners can make in email marketing is to issue emails which are likely to be construed to be spam. This may result in the emails never reaching the recipient or the emails being deleted, without being read, by the recipient. Avoiding the potential of falling into the spam category is not very difficult. It basically involves ensuring your promotional emails contain more useful copy than blatant advertising. This will make it more likely for your emails to be taken seriously.

Another email marketing mistake often made is failure to follow up on promotional emails. Sending out emails to interested parties can be very beneficial but it is even more beneficial to contact these email recipients by other methods such as mail or telephone to answer any questions they may have and offer any additional information they may require. This type of follow up can be much more effective than simply sending an email and allowing it to fall into the abyss of an overcrowded email inbox.

Business owners may also run into the mistake of not preparing themselves for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort. The express purpose of email marketing is to generate increased interest in your products or services. Therefore it is critical for business owners to anticipate an increase in business and be prepared to accommodate this increased demand for products and services. This is important because potential customers who have to wait for products or services may seek out your competitors who are better prepared to provide them with products or services immediately.

Finally a critical mistake made by business owners is to not tailor an email marketing campaign to their specific target audience. This can be a problem because it may result in the email marketing being less effective. Business owners typically make this mistake because they fall into the trap of believing that it is more important to reach a large audience than it is to reach a target audience. You may blindly send your email marketing materials to millions of recipients and only generate a few leads. However, you could send the same email marketing materials to a smaller group of only a thousand recipients who all have an interest in your products and services and will likely generate more leads from this smaller email distribution list. It is not only important to send your message to members of your target audience but to also tailor your message to suit this audience. Creating an email message which will appeal to a variety of individuals is not as important as creating a message which will appeal to members of your target audience.

Alternative Energy in Ireland

The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources. At the time of this writing, nearly 90% of Ireland’s energy needs are met through importation—the highest level of foreign product dependence in the nation’s entire history. This is a very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives. Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential resides in Ireland’s substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and, as they say, “make a killing”. At the present time, Ireland is most closely focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation’s electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation’s economy and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as “Wavebob”. The most energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says Ireland’s Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland’s total energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.

Consultants on Alternative Energy

The alternative energy consultants tell us that the transition from the petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole. The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed and built is staggering—even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments’ tax breaks and rebate incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission. We have lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to being a thing of the past.

Consultants on alternative energy also tell us that we need multilateral, international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting away from the heavy—almost total—dependence on fossil fuels. They are poised to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of reasonably cheap oil and gas—and consultants say that within 20 years beyond that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them. Unfortunately, at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The thirst for oil is growing, not slaking, and it is growing faster now than it did even in the 1970s.

One of the major problems of transition, the consultants point out, is that higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what many energy so-called “experts” and many members of the public believe, but the fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street.). Alternative, or “green” energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is resistance to this much-needed economic transition. It is because of this that many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black ashes of the fossil fuel economy phoenix.

It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US, Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get off of the fossil fuel dependence. Smaller, poorer nations are very simply never going to achieve the level of energy production through coal and oil that these nations have—for by the time they would be ready to, the cheap access to the fossil fuels will be gone, and they will never be able to sustain their newly-risen civilizations at that time as we have been able to do. The time for transition from black to green is now.

Advertising: Self Promotion

Self-promotion is similar to spreading the word by any other means but with an artistic approach. If the artistic part were taken out of the equation advertising would look more like barging rather than self-promotion. There are many steps involved in this process. The first step is to collect and create useful content relating to the topic, which is a not an easy job.

In today’s fast paced world owning a website for your business is a must which is not a big deal anymore with so many people available who excel in web designing and also offer a competitive rate. There are many types of technologies involved in the creation of a website, a one page flash website wouldn’t take you places. Intense graphics should be incorporated to catch the eye of the customer. After the creation of website, the website content should be emphasized upon. Writers who expertise in search engine optimization should be raked in so that the page ranks amongst the top pages on Google, Yahoo and Msn. Search engines have become popular universally and your website doing good on them plays a more vital role than getting other kind of references. Hence, efforts should be made on making remarkable progress to bring your website in the hit list. Also, material on the website should be updated frequently to meet the changing needs of the people. Get someone to design a logo for the company and website which is catchy and delivers the right message to the customers.

Other than website content, articles should also be published in newspapers, magazines and online publications especially business oriented emphasizing on ten strong points which describes the best about the business or the product. Online publication will facilitate in providing successful searches to the targeted audience.

The next target method of advertising should be television. Putting a commercial during the prime time will spread the message to a larger crowd. The content of the advertising should be akin to the value of the product. Famous personalities can be roped in to endorse the product, which will not only attract common people but also their fans in buying the product.

From time to time it is essential to review the past work and improving on the mistakes previously committed. Once the previous mistakes are tackled, it wouldn’t hurt to analyze previous milestones, awards, and acquisitions. This increases the chances of running into something that really deserves to be highlighted to the public. The more accomplishments you display to the public the more fan-following your product will get.

Reviewing competitor’s work on a regular basis would prove fruitful. This would also help identify loopholes in your product that have been overlooked before and would provide the key reasons to improve on.

Although this is an old approach, snail mails are also one of the best advertising methods. As it’s a more energy consuming approach, it’s important that you have the addresses of the customers who are really in need of the product. Regular mails containing details about the new development will keep people informed about your company’s products. A more modern approach to this method is collecting e-mail ids of the targeted customers and posting them ads and latest deals. This is a cheaper and less time consuming approach compared to snail mails as you can mass email as many people as you want at any time.

Before releasing any product in the market, product testing should be done by giving out samples among the targeted customers. The feedbacks makes it more clear whether the product is ready to be released in the market or whether changes should be made to make it more appealing to the public. It is recommended to approach sincere friends, acquaintances, partners and clients at first to test your product and then go to the public, as expert advice is more useful.

To make more brownie points, address the customers and clients and appreciate them for their contribution in making the product popular. Send a token of thanks on special occasions like festivals or on accomplishing an important task. Customers can also be thanked by offering special discounts and free gifts. After gaining popularity focus should be on retaining the reputation rather than taking things for granted.