Friday, May 20, 2011


Renewable Energy Experts & Exhibits

The Solar and Wind Expo is coming to Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pa., on June 11 and 12. This indoor-outdoor consumer show is uniquely devoted to renewable energy and was created to bring the manufacturer, installer, lender and consumer together under one roof. It’s all about saving energy, saving money, and being good to the Earth.

The Solar and Wind Expo – Pennsylvania will feature companies knowledgeable in renewable energy solutions. Experts in this evolving field will conduct valuable educational seminars for Expo attendees on topics such as: Benefits of Switching to Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, Financing Programs Available Right Now, Green Building Design, Energy Affordability in a Time of Change, Wind Power 101, The Benefits of Weatherization, Geothermal 101, and more.
The keynote speaker at The Solar and Wind Expo – Pennsylvania is Bob Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, Ks. In 2007, this Midwestern town was decimated by an F5 tornado. The Mayor and township decided to make the best of a terrible situation and rebuild using all renewable and alternative energy practices. The result was more than just LEED certification for a few buildings. Instead, the majority of the town’s structures were rebuilt to the LEED Platinum standard, the highest rating granted by the United States Green Building Council. As the first town in the country to go entirely green, Greensburg is a shining example of how becoming sustainable is both viable and economically beneficial.

“Never has there been a better time for this kind of show in Pennsylvania,” said George Lopez, executive director of The Solar and Wind Expo. “The technology is maturing and becoming more affordable and there is consumer interest in saving money and reducing the carbon footprint. Now is the time to make these investments, and the Valley Forge Convention Center on June 11 and 12 is the place to learn more.”

Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 if purchased online. Children under 12 admitted free.
More information is available at

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Second Annual Expo brings consumers and experts together, May 13-15, Timonium Fairgrounds
Expo opens with Governor Martin O’Malley’s Energy Summit: A Roundtable on Maryland’s Energy Future

From Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s roundtable on the future of renewable energy in Maryland, to a keynote address on electric vehicles, to exhibits by national solar and wind energy companies to fun rides on all-electric Segways, there is something for everyone at the Second Annual Solar and Wind Expo, held May 13-15 at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

Governor O’Malley will open the Expo at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13, with his energy summit, a review of strategies, and a discussion of industry trends and opportunities. The governor seeks public input on Maryland’s energy future as we continue to create a smarter, greener, more sustainable and prosperous Maryland.

 “The Solar and Wind Expo is a clearinghouse of information for the public on the latest news and information regarding green energy,” said Solar and Wind Expo Executive Director George Lopez. “This is the right time to bring consumers and experts together, given technology advancements and government financial incentives. There are affordable technologies on the market right now so we want to show the public that the time for these investment is now.”

Chelsea Sexton, the electric vehicle’s top advocate and star of the popular “Who Killed the Electric Car” documentary film, will present the keynote address on Saturday, May 14, at noon. She will update Expo attendees on the future of electric vehicles. Sexton is a veteran clean transportation and energy advocate. She has served as Director of the Automotive X PRIZE, Senior Advisor to VantagePoint Venture Partners’ Cleantech practice, and co-founder of Plug In America, the largest consumer-oriented electric drive advocacy group. She founded the Lightning Rod Foundation, an advisory and educational organization. Sexton is a Consulting Producer on Chris Paine’s just-released film, “Revenge of the Electric Car.”

Consumer seminar topics include topics such as:

·        Benefits of Switching to Renewable Energy

·        Solar, Wind and Geothermal Power and Why Now is the Time

·        The Consumer’s Checklist for Saving Energy and Sustaining our Environment

·        Financing Programs Available Right Now

·        Solar Purchasing Plans to Fit Your Budget

·        Benefits of Weatherization

·        Energy Efficiency/Clean Energy Quiz

·        Solar Water Heating: A Mature Technology with Enormous Potential

·        Community-Initiated Solar PV Systems Using a Power Purchase Agreement

·        Green Building Design

·        Design, Procure, and Construct an Innovative Renewable Energy System

The Expo will host seminars for renewable energy professionals on Friday, May 13.

The Solar and Wind Expo received accolades from Expo attendees and exhibitors in May 2010 when it brought top-quality clean energy advocates to consumers in the east coast region. This year’s Expo promises to do so again.

The Solar and Wind Expo’s hours are 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 14 & 15. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 if purchased online; children under 12 admitted free. Discounts are available online.
Information is available at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting For My Battery to Die

It’s a rainy Wednesday and thanks to some crazy driver last night, the entire peninsula is without power. This morning’s coffee fix had to come from Royal Farms Store about a mile away. That’s when I saw the handy work that destroyed the  portion of the grid that we all rely on this far down Mountain Road. A car or maybe a tank had taken out a perfectly upright street pole.
Now I am writing this piece before the laptop battery goes dead on me. Looking out of my window and reflecting on the importance of energy as the raindrops hit the calm waters of Bodkin Creek, it makes me appreciate the solitude that someone’s misfortune has brought to me and so many of my neighbors. Surely with the Solar and Wind Expo just 10 days away this isn’t the best time to sit idle reflecting on solitude. We need instead to get the banners finished and to the printer, the venue ready, and so on.

But my work is in clean renewable energy and that makes it impossible for me not to think about and to appreciate the importance of the grid and how we use and store power. From inside my cozy cottage I can hear the humming of my neighbors’ generators. These souls surely feel lucky to be able to have coffee and watch the talking heads speak about Bin Laden and Sheen on the same half hour show. But who am I to judge? I would probably be doing the same thing if I could.
The grid, we must admit, is a great thing and has been there for us for so many years, silently giving us so much comfort. The downside of grid power is not the grid’s fault; it is only composed of wires, wood and metal. All that it requires is that it remains continuous and full of electrons. The method of electron replenishment is of no consequence to it. Instead, it is up to us to make the proper choices about how we produce that power.

If I hear another proponent of Coal or Oil, and now the full of Gas bunch, talk about how we will never be able to have enough clean energy for everyone I swear I’ll hurl. They say that, but damn if they don’t keep trying to associate themselves with clean energy (“Clean” Coal, “Clean” Gas and “Clean” Fuels). It’s enough to confuse a perfectly sane individual; oh wait, that’s their plan.
Monday on one of the radio talk shows I heard a proponent of gasoline defend gas prices by saying that Americans are using more fuel in spite of gasoline prices. His case was that this is a sure sign that Americans aren’t bothered by fuel prices. Man, I wanted to throw the radio out of the car window, but that would have only given me temporary relief and no radio. He went on to say that if you don’t like the price of fuel then don’t use it. Like a bottle of Chablis or a steak dinner in your neighborhood restaurant, just don’t do it. Sorry, but fuel is essential. We have to drive and heat our homes.

We are using more fuel because we no longer have the luxury of working in a factory close to home or in a nearby office building. Every time a factory is closed and the work moved overseas we are forced to drive farther away from home to work. I come from the construction industry and I can tell you that my contractor friends have to drive further and further for work. Every time fuel prices go up we are forced to drive more and work more to have money left over just for survival. If you want prove that Americans are feeling the pinch, just ask the manager of Rocky Run Restaurant at Marley Station Mall who, after 20 years in business employing college kids, had to close the door of his restaurant because Americans are short of money for dining out because they have to pay more for fuel instead.
This is happening across all aspects of our economy. Everything essential to our lives is getting more and more expensive and some are choosing to just do without. And this spiral is continuing as the cost of fuel and energy becomes more and more expensive. This cycle is creating a twofold effect: a lower standard of living for Americans as they see more and more manufacturing jobs going overseas.

I think that the way to reverse things is to invest in our own well-being rather than depending on others. Energy efficiency will help tremendously. Insulating our homes and buying more efficient vehicles and appliances are a must as is not just buying American-branded goods but those actually made in America.
So, I come back to those essential electrons. We have to make our own energy while we still have the means to do so. Buy solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal – American-made when possible -- and don’t be dissuaded with promises of “clean” coal or gas. These resources will eventually be depleted or become expensive because of growing demand.

The legacy energy companies are quick to say that demand drives prices up. But the way I remember it is that the more I sell the more cheaply I can sell it. I guess they live in an alternative universe. We should remember that energy companies and fuel companies have become used to making huge profits from an essential resource that should belong to everyone or a least whose profits should be regulated. It’s not a lack of oil that has historically driven the prices up, but instead, it has been greed. Why else would they form a cartel to control supply.
I have to leave it here because my laptop is about to hybern……..