Annual Renewable Energy Conference

     Dr. Jim Cooke and four A&E studentsRenewable Energy Conference attended “the biggest sustainability event in the South.”  The tenth annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair was held in Fredericksburg, Texas from Sept. 25-27. 
     Since the Green Living Fair began it has developed into the largest “green show” in the South.  The event is held annually at the end of September in Fredericksburg.  It is an educational time where people can learn about solar and wind energy, water use and reuse, energy conservation, rainwater harvesting, organic growing, composting and much more.
     “One talk I was able to go to presented practical tips for energy efficiency in one's home,” said Jordan Brown, junior IT major from Abilene. “I would recommend the conference for people who want to increase their energy efficiency, see bright ideas in the renewable energy industry and what one might want to invest in for their current or future home.”
     There were more than 50 speakers at the event this year.  The keynote speakers for this conference were Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden; Karl Rabago, vice president of Distributive Energy Services in Austin and Bob Dixson, Mayer of Greensburg, Ka.  The speakers were experts on things such as recovery from natural disasters, international comparative energy conservation and creating sustainable living environments.
     “One thing I took away from the conference was that the US is lagging behind other nations in reducing consumption and providing renewable resources as compared to other developed nations,” said Matt Husbands, senior environmental science major from Buffalo Gap, Texas. “With nations like China and India demanding more energy consumption, prices will inevitably fluctuate and the US is currently too dependent on fossil fuels. We must invest in renewable energy and efficient energy conversion systems now to stay competitive.”
     This was an ideal opportunity for students to learn how to apply what they are learning about energy conservation in class to their daily life. 
     “A&E students and even all other students should go simply for the fact that they become more aware of our future,” Husbands said.  “Energy is going to become expensive and our current levels of consumption are unsustainable. We have to invest in renewable energy if we want to provide for our future generations.”
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