Solar, Utility Integration

Major Solar Conference Planned for U.S. Capitol

Fourteen renewable energy groups will join forces this month to present a five-day event in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-04-11 <> The ‘FORUM 2001’ conference will provide seminars on the integration of renewables in residential and commercial buildings, transportation, wireless communications and emerging markets. The event will integrate annual conferences of the American Solar Energy Society, the National Passive Solar Conference, the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SOLTECH. Other participating organizations include the Solar Energy Industries Association, American Public Power Association, ASHRAE, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, National Association of Home Builders, Society of Building Science Educators, Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, Potomac Region Solar Energy Association and Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association. Sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy, BP Solar, Duke Solar, Austin Energy, Southern California Edison, Xantrex, and the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. FORUM 2001 is expected to draw participation from educators, builders, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, installers, scientists, researchers and policy-makers, and the strong academic component will be complemented by policy topics on ICI topics. A solar modular home, dubbed ‘The Solar Patriot,’ will showcase passive solar design strategies, an integrated PV system, domestic solar hot water, high efficiency appliances, and a number of market-ready components and systems. Other events include a Low-Energy, Sustainable Building Design for Federal Managers workshop, an exhibition hall featuring the latest renewable energy products and services, an awards banquet, and a Women in Solar Energy (WISE) luncheon. “Twenty years of solid RD&D at the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and in the private sector have brought solar energy strategies and equipment to the level where they’re market-ready and available now,” says function chair Helen English, who runs the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. “The recent energy crisis in California points up the need for more renewable solutions that help move us beyond our reliance on an ever-diminishing supply of expensive, non-renewable fuels.” “Strategies like passive solar design, building-integrated photovoltaics, wind power, geothermal energy, and fuel cells can significantly reduce demand, while saving businesses and consumers 30, 40, 50 percent or more on their energy bills,” she adds. “Products and technologies that generate clean energy are also cost effective on the supply side, since they help alleviate the need for construction of new power plants and costly pollution remediation efforts.” FORUM events take place every four years and are timed to coincide with the federal elections. The event will be held in Washington from April 21 to 25. Keynote speakers include Sam Wyly of Green Mountain Energy in Texas, a private company that includes BP and Nuon as partners, and claims to be one of the largest suppliers of renewable energy in the United States, and Ed Mazria, a pioneer in the use of energy-conserving strategies for homes and public buildings.