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An Off-the-Grid Future?

On November 7th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, the SLTF is hosting a panel discussion on alternative-renewable energy.   This is the capstone event for our Year of Energy here at WCC and we hope to pack as many faculty, students and community members into the Towsley as we can.  We have a nice spread of panelists representing local businesses, environmental activists and researchers, so there should be something for all comers.  (Please see the list below.)

Of course, this is not just a presentation and discussion for all you techies out there.  The social and political ramifications of developing and adopting what will be a very different energy infrastructure are… well, frankly, unknown.  But whatever they are, they are sure to impact upon us and our descendants.   And let us all hope that they do – because the consequences of continuing to rely on carbon-based energy are known!

Projections of how this shift to a more renewable energy base are already presenting utilities in developed nations with new perils and promises, particularly in relation to how our energy grid will have to be totally re-conceived. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-22/homegrown-green-energy-is-making-power-utilities-irrelevant  Provocatively, that new conception may also serve to spur growth in developing nations.  New, ever more locally based energy systems will open up whole new terrains of, not only geography, but also social-political-economic-cultural territories that we can now only imagine. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/the-next-wireless-revolution-in-light/?_r=0

We hope that you will all come join us for an informative evening and present your questions to the panel.

Panel participants:

Dr. Jarod Kelly – Wind Energy
Assistant Research Scientist, School of Natural Resources and Environment

John Wakeman:  Photovoltaic Systems
Owner, Licensed contractor, SUR Energy   

Charles Griffith: Transportation and alternative/renewable fuel systems
Climate and Energy Program Director, Ann Arbor Ecology Center

Kevin Bouchey: Geothermal 
Mechanical Designer, CGD, LEED AP, Strategic Energy Solutions

Wayne Appleyard: Green construction
Co-founder/Architect. Sunstructures Architects.