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Re: E-M:/ Centralized vs. distributed power ...

Lowell & Friends,
I remember back in the 60s when recycling was just getting a good start, that folks were saying it would take decades for communities to get programs in place.  As I recall, it took about 5 years for most of us to have some level of service.  Point is that I am hearing a lot of the same rhetoric regarding renewable/alternative energy today. 

The alternative energy issue is being addressed on multiple fronts in Mich right now and I am betting we will be well down the road to better policies and technology implementation in the next 5 years. 

Today there was a well attended conference on Renewable Energy at the Pierce Cedar Creek Insititute just S of Hastings.  Kudos to Tom Huber S Mich College and Bob Brown (retired science teacher Hastings, MI) for their initiative in developing and implementing the conference. 

Over 150 attended (not bad for a Sat in Mich with our weather!).  Keynote speaker was Rich Vanderveen, Pres and CEO of Bay Wind Power, followed by John Sarver, Mich Energy Office and others including Mi vendors of wind, solar thermal and photovoltaic equipment.  Toyota had its hybred car there for rides.  Exotic double glazed heat exchange tubes were making hot water outdoors today!! on a trailer setup.  Not bad given the limited sunshine.  Wind generation hands on equipment and installation presentation; a home near Hastings that is warmed from now til mid March by last summer's heat was discussed;  Examples of working energy star homes & commercial buildings and products (available now in Mich).  John Hudson, Urban Options Director was there along with other experts (even a vendor from Calif came to the conf).  My apologies to the rest of the excellent presenters who I have not named - they were all great. 

The Pierce Cedar Creek Insititute is located just S of Hastings on roughly a square mile of hilly land and is dedicated to environmental and ecological education.  Impressively it is heated by geothermal technology.

Hot issues include the need for improvements in Mich building energy standards and as we all know the net-metering question.  Tom Stanton, just advised me that we can expect changes on that front are on the way.  We look forward to specifics.