An energetic look at local action—global solutions
The Colorado Renewable Energy Society knows how to throw a conferenceBy Martha Young
Colorado Renewable Energy Society's (CRES) annual conference in Fort Collins this month focused on "Local Action – Global Solutions."
The first day’s tracks looked at professional development: Community Based Energy Development, Education, Green Building/Leed, Real Estate – EcoBroker Energy Advantage and Engineering. The second day emphasized regional, state, and national issues: Local Policy and Initiatives, Local Technology and Infrastructure, State and National Technology and Policy Updates, and Global Technology and Policy Issues. Continuing education credits were available for participation in the conference. The third day, open to the community, included a green energy jobs fair and educational tracks on Solar, Green Building, Home Power and Commercial.
In addition to the panel discussions, the conference had a wide variety of vendor and information booths. Geothermal and small-hydro were interesting additions to the renewable energy conference scene. Consider that geothermal:
- Is inherently baseload ready meaning it does not require energy storage
- Does not require a massive real estate footprint
- Is a closed system, meaning the steam used to turn the turbines is put back into the reservoir to be reheated by the earth requiring no additional water
- Is readily available around the globe
- Is included in Xcel’s energy rebate program
For more information on geothermal technology and vendors, visit the Colorado Geo Energy and Heat Pump Association by clicking here. You will also find information on upcoming geothermal events and conferences.
Small-hydro is also an interesting energy technology. Consider that small-hydro:
- Uses existing dams, irrigation canals and pipelines
- Does not impede the water flow through the existing water ways
- Provides baseload generation so energy storage is not required
- Could be readily available throughout the U.S. waterways
- Is not subject to onerous environmental impact studies
For more information on small-hydro technology and vendors, visit the Colorado Small Hydro Association’s website here. You will also find information on how to register for the association’s free conference being held at the University of Denver on June 15.
Colorado continues its leadership role in the renewable energy industry, with aggressive energy policies, second only to California. Clean technology provides over 18,000 jobs in the state today. This figure does not include the 5,500 positions at NREL, or the thousands of jobs at UNC, CU, and School of Mines linked to clean technology research and development. Organizations such as CRES -- with its conferences, local events, programs, demonstration facilities, political guidance and collaboration with the universities and NREL -- enable Colorado’s leadership in the emerging energy economy.
About Martha Young
Martha Young is principal at NovaAmber, LLC, a business strategy company based in Golden. Young has held positions as industry analyst, director of market research, competitive intelligence analyst, and sales associate. She has written books, articles, and papers regarding the intersection of technology and business for over 15 years. She has co-authored four books on the topics of virtual business processes, virtual business implementations, and project management for IT. Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @myoung_vbiz