Monday, December 29, 2008

Best of Maria Energia 2008

I wasn't going to create a year-end wrap-up list of my favorite blog posts. I swear. But I couldn't deny that I had a really fun year of blogging: I got to meet lots of amazing people at different energy events, travel a bit and write about some significant advances in the energy world.

So putting together this list was fun for me and I hope it will be interesting for you too.
Here are my top 10 favorite Maria Energia memories of 2008, in no particular order:
  • The election of Barack Obama and his no-nonsense green dream team of advisors hails a new era of clean energy, growing our green economy and fighting global warming.
  • Covering the American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER conference in Houston. I got to meet fellow bloggers and interview some great energy thinkers and leaders. Thanks to AWEA for the opportunity.
  • Although I had to stop writing for Green Options earlier this year in order to balance a challenging day job, Maria Energia and a life, I immensely enjoyed working for Jeff McIntire-Strasburg and the whole GO team. They're some of the smartest and most thoughtful people in the green blogosphere.
  • Covering the American Petroleum Institute/Newsweek Energy Dialogue. Again, connecting with fellow bloggers and some of the smartest minds in energy was a thrill. Thanks to Jane and API for the experience.
  • Joining Twitter (follow me!) has allowed me to find some really great bloggers, green folks and social media smarties.
  • Branded wind farms: The upfront costs of building wind farms is causing some developers to look towards large corporations to brand and support wind farms. I think this will be come a more common occurance.
  • Watching the unlikeliest alliances come together in support of fighting global warming and promoting clean energy. Whether it's T. Boone Pickens and his PickensPlan or the ads featuring Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, this year we made a significant advancement in moving ourselves beyond partisan bickering when it comes to the energy crisis.
  • Greenwashing: Consumers are more aware than ever of false or misleading claims by some companies that they are green. Whether it's "clean" coal or "efficient" SUVs that only get 20 mpg, consumers are starting to ask questions and do their homework to ensure their purchases are as green as they are led to believe.
  • Drill, baby, drill: The off-shore drilling debate became the quick fix to our summer gas prices and energy woes. That chatter has died off significantly, but we still have to remember that investing in efficiency is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cut our energy reliance and that our nation's potential for renewable energy that won't run out has hardly been tapped.
  • The recession has many of us asking "What now for renewables?" Although there has been some slow down - just like other sectors - there hasn't been an abandonment of clean energy by any means. What's more, President-elect Obama's talk of a green stimulus package has many of us hopeful that we'll see a plan for energizing the economy and developing a new energy system in 2009.

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