Monday, October 26, 2009

Waterfalls at the continental divide in Iceland - (and a little thought about green housing)

Let me start this little post with a little info from Wikipedia:

Because of the special geological situation in Iceland, the high concentration of volcanoes and geothermal energy are very often used for heating and production of electricity. The energy is so inexpensive that in the wintertime, some pavements in Reykjavík and Akureyri are heated.
In Iceland, there are five major geothermal power plants which produce about 24% (2008) of the country's electricity. In addition, geothermal heating meets the heating and hot water requirements for around 87% of the nation's buildings.
In 2008, 24.5% of electricity generation in Iceland came from geothermal energy, 75.4% from hydro power, and 0.1% from fossil fuels.

What really blew my mind while I was here was something quite simple. Even though virtually all of the power being generated and distributed was from renewable sources, a simple switch inside the door of my hotel room required the insertion of my room key to turn any of the power on. Simple and quite brilliant! In fact, I remember seeing these simple systems in small pensions and hotels in the Greek Islands.....15 years ago! I can't think of 1 hotel in the states that I have been to recently that has installed this simple energy saving idea. And the high rise condo I live in that was built not 4 years ago doesn't have one of these in every unit because why now? Was it really that expensive for the developers to try to incorporate some of this technology into new construction, or was it just ignorance?

I have really been brainstorming lately about this. I must admit that I have never been much of a "green" kinda guy, but I think that is purely out of ignorance and yes.....a little complacency. While thinking about the opportunities that some of these developers have in creating a better place to live for the next generation, I am a bit overwhelmed. With a little creativity and vision, the possibilities are endless. I am sure one could argue that the cost prohibits some of these new "green" technologies, but I'm not buying that yet.

As a small real estate investor (with big dreams for the future), I look forward to the research of some of these ideas over the next few months. I can already see a few simple ways to incorporate some simple "green" strategies into my next investment. In fact, my 9 year old has even come up with a few ideas of her own. My vision of what could be is already too deep for this little post, so for now, I will leave it at that. Perhaps a new blog in the making?

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