Renewable Energy Day returns
August 25, 2006
An event to help people learn what they can do to reduce their contribution to global warming is returning to Aspen for the third straight year.Aspen Renewable Energy Day, known as AREDAY, will take place on the Copper Street Mall on from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It will feature several booths and demonstrations by some of the nations leading organizations on renewable energy and energy efficiency.People who attend can learn numerous practical steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprints, or the amount of greenhouse gases they produce through their homes, vehicles and lifestyle choices, according to Chip Comins, the founder and organizer of AREDAY.Homes and businesses are some of the biggest culprits in production of greenhouse gases, Comins said. The production of electricity, primarily at coal-fired plants creates about 60 percent of human-produced greenhouse gases, Comins said. The other 40 percent comes mostly from burning fossil fuels for transportation and other uses, he said.The displays at AREDAY will range from Solar Energy International in Carbondale showing how to design small solar panels into homes, to a consortium of Native American tribes from the northern Great Plains discussing their goals of developing wind farms. Contractors will also demonstrate the latest green building techniques.Comins, a filmmaker, said he became interested in presenting AREDAY after helping produce short films on the efforts of Native Americans to start a wind farm on their reservations in the Dakotas. His first film showed how tribes developed their first turbine.Hes now working on a film about the tribes efforts to expand that wind farm. Comins said he learned through his work that the Dakotas possess some of the great potential for wind farms on earth because of near-constant wind speeds. Tribal lands alone could produce enough energy to meet one-third of the national demand, he said. (More information about the tribes wind farm is available at http://www.nativewind.org.)Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart will deliver AREDAYs keynote speech, Energy Independence and National Security through Renewable Energy, at 5:30 p.m. at Paepcke Auditorium.Harts presentation will precede a talk by nationally renowned energy efficiency expert Amory Lovins. Randy Udall, director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency in Aspen, will moderate a panel discussion of renewable energy experts to round out the evening. Panel members include Pat Spears, who will talk about tribal wind potential; Karen Hyde of Xcel Energy on large utilities and renewable energy opportunities; and Michael Bowman of the 25 by 25 Initiative, which aims to have renewable producing 25 percent of the countrys total energy supply by 2025.More information on the event is available atwww.areday.net.