Live greener, cleaner, cheaper, with freedom, at the fair!

Live greener, cleaner, cheaper, with freedom, at the fair!

By By Robert & Sonia Vogl, Illinois Renewable Energy Fair Coordinators

Clean energy choices do more than save money and the environment; they also increase our nation’s freedom. Learn how you can easily bring renewable energy and green living into your life at this new two-day event.

The first Illinois Renewable Energy Fair will take place on August 10 and 11 at the Ogle County Fairgrounds near Oregon, Ill. The fair offers a wide range of energy alternatives to homeowners, businesses and farmers through exhibits, speakers, and 60 workshops.

There is more at stake than just the environment. As Americans, we take our intensive use of fossil fuels for granted with little consideration for the risks involved until supplies are disrupted or prices rise dramatically. Currently, 55 percent of our oil needs are imported from other countries. Experts predict that global oil production will peak in the year 2010 and will eventually become too costly to use.

Clean energy choices reduce our reliance on foreign oil and increase our energy independence. The information gained at the Energy Fair can help us become more energy independent through the use of clean, sustainable energy choice.

Clean energy choices also save money, provide jobs, help restore economic vitality to the farm economy, curtail pollution, and leave a heritage of clean air and water and biologically diverse natural areas. They are acts of patriotism, which enhance homeland security without sacrificing our personal freedom.

Workshop Topics

l Transportation Alternatives – Bill Moore of EV World will present the outlook for electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cells as transportation alternatives.

l Global and National Oil Supplies – Michael Vickerman of Renew Wisconsin

l Earth Sheltered Housing – Marty and Ruthanne Davis

l Generating Electricity with Switchgrass – John Sellers of the Charitan Valley Biomass Project

l New Farm Economy – Hans Detweiler of the Environmental Law and Policy Center

l Farmers as Energy Entrepreneurs – Bruce Papiech of Forever Power

l Intentional Communities – For those who would like to live in a community of people with environmental interests

l General Interest Workshops – using energy efficiently, basic electricity, economic benefits of renewable energy, community-based programs of energy efficiency, hydrogen pipeline, history of wind energy, and Illinois solar history

l Environmental and Economic Concerns Workshops – oil supplies, global warming, “green” building, sustainable architecture, sustainable living, natural landscaping, ecological restoration and urban sprawl

l Solar Power Workshops – using solar electricity in an energy-efficient home, solar energy in the city, low-cost solar energy choices for the home and business; combined solar and wind energy systems, solar hot water, and using batteries in renewable energy systems

l Agricultural Interest Workshops – methane capture for electrical generation (from anaerobic digesters, community- supported agriculture, and straw bale construction

Keynote Speakers

The keynote speaker and internationally known author, John Perlin, will present the story of solar electricity from space to earth on August 10. Solar electricity plays a crucial role in operation of our modern society.

On August 11, keynote speakers include Mike Bergey, owner of Bergey wind generators, and Palmer Carlin of the National Renewable Energy Lab. They will discuss the dramatic increase in using small and large wind machines to generate electricity along with ways to integrate wind energy into our lives and communities.

About the Illinois Renewable Energy Fair

Times and dates are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 10 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 11. The Fair is located at the Ogle County Fairgrounds, 144C Limekiln Rd., Oregon, Ill. Two hours west of the Loop, off Hwy. 64 between Oregon and Mt. Morris. The Fair features 60 workshops, exhibits and food vendors. Live music on Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults over 16: $3 for youth ages 13-16; kids under 13 are free.

The First Annual Renewable Energy Fair is presented by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association, a non-profit organizatIon dedicated to encouraging the use of renewable energy sources through community education. Major sponsors are the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Commonwealth Edison, The Rock River Times and Home Power magazine.

For more information, visit

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!