Alternative energy briefs
Illinois Renewable Energy Fair in Oregon, Ill.,
August 9-11, 2002
The Illinois Renewable Energy Association will sponsor the first Illinois Renewable Energy Fair at the Ogle County fairgrounds on Aug. 9-11, 2002. The purpose of the fair is to build support for increased use of renewables and develop a network of people interested in using renewable energy and those who offer products and services. The Rock River Times is proud to be one of the sponsors of the fair.
IREA is looking for fair sponsors and volunteers, workshop topics and presenters, and booth displays of equipment and services.
If you have ideas or would like to help, e-mail Bob or Sonia Vogl at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (815) 732-7332.
IREA is registered as an Illinois non-profit corporation.
MREA weekend workshops and yearly fair
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association has just announced its new weekend workshop schedule. Please follow the workshops link at the MREA web site at www.the-mrea.org for the 2002-2003 workshop schedule. Sign up early as some class sizes are limited!
The Midwest Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair will be held June 21-23, 2002 in Central Wisconsin. Camping available. For more information on the workshops and fair contact:
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
7558 Deer Rd, Custer, WI 54423
Energy & a Sustainable Planet conference in New
Orleans, March 10-12
The American Instititue of Chemical Engineers will hold a asymposium on energy issues at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, March 10-12, 2002.
A sutainable future. Its a concern to business leaders, policy makers, educators, engineers, the media and the general public.
Each forum in the series will offer a symposium of experts from industry, academia, and goverment.
The series is comprised of the following: Forum on Global Climate Change, Forum on Alternative Energy Options and Forum on the Future of Nuclear Power.
For more information or to register for the conference, go to www.aiche.org/criticalissues or call 1-800-242-4363 or 1-212-591-8100. Priority code: CMC1B
Alliance for Rural America promotes rural energy access
Late last year, United States Senate leadership decided to postpone consideration of much-needed energy legislation until February, despite hearing from many Americansincluding farm and rural groupsthat action was needed quickly.
While energy price worries have eased lately, farmers and rural consumers are still looking for some good news regarding the nations long-term energy picture. Last fall saw some progress in Washington, but still no new laws on the books to ensure our energy future.
The good news is that there is legislative language under consideration addressing energy supplies that includes the encouragement of domestic resources. However, the language covers many issues, some of which are very contentious. Others are not. For instance, while there is disagreement over the value of oil and gas supplies from Alaska, there is wide agreement that we need to pay more attention to our electric industry infrastructure. This is particularly important in rural areas where electric reliability has become a major concern. While more power plants are being built, it has become increasingly difficult to site and build power lines. Rural areas need more utility lines to get power to consumers.
While describing energy issues can be complicated, in the end, theres a relatively simple bottom line. If suppliers and producers dont have incentives to go out and find energy, and to deliver that energy, eventually consumers will face shortages and higher prices.
There is a role for government to smooth the path for more supplies to be made available for rural consumers, and to encourage the development of new fuels, such as wind turbines. The current farm bill states in its findings that Congress believes there are great opportunities for the agricultural community to develop renewable energy, and that such developments reduce the likelihood of power blackouts.
Senate leadership has promised early consideration of an energy bill in 2002. Farmers and rural consumers are expected to urge their representatives to get behind the effort.