Alternative Energy

Brian Bauknight



This week, a second installation of alternative energy production will be put in place on our small farm property in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  In 2012 we installed a large solar grid for the larger home on our property, capable of about 46Mhw of electricity per year.  That is enough power to take that home completely off the commercial power grid—heating and cooling plus all other power needs—with 100% green/solar electricity.  Now, we are adding a WindStax turbine ( a type of vertical wind mill) to augment the energy needs of the smaller second home where my wife and I primarily reside. Shortly, we will add a few solar panels to the roof and thereby hope to meet all the electrical needs of our home as well.
We and our son have long desired to make this property and our lives here as green and self-sustaining as possible.  At this point, we cannot go totally green because the system for our smaller home still requires heating oil in winter.  But most of the electrical power needed for living and thriving here is alternative renewable energy.
Our son estimates that the costs of these installations will pay for themselves in no more than 8-10 years.  The sense of hope and environmental care is immediate.
Jesus promised alternative energy to all who follow him.  He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”  (Acts 1:8) We in Christian leadership need that alternative power.   As Martin Luther wrote several centuries ago, “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing…” (UMH #110)  Or, in a more modern hymn by Carol Owens,
All power is given in Jesus’ name,
In earth and heaven in Jesus’ name,
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share his power as he told me to.  (UMH #389)
I cannot attain that kind of power on my own.  My energy is totally insufficient.  But I am called and invited to lean into the Alternative Power Grid of God’s design. And when I work at this, there is a synergy of energy that makes a significant leadership difference in all who would follow Jesus.


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