Illinois Renewable Energy Fair Set for August

The Second Illinois Renewable Energy Fair will be held at the Ogle County Fairgrounds near Oregon on August 9-10. In addition to the myriad workshops and activities, the event will host two major speakers with extensive experience within the renewable energy industry.

Oregon, Illinois, July 18, 2003 [] Thorsteinn I. Sigfusson, a professor from the University of Iceland and the President of Icelandic New Energy, will speak on the opening day. Sigfusson, who is a leading authority on the hydrogen economy, will describe the development of hydroelectric energy and geothermal energy during the past century and discuss his government’s decision to aim for a hydrogen economy. He will examine the possible paths his country will pursue to reach its goal. Iceland is the first country to declare its intent to replace gasoline and diesel fuel with hydrogen to power its autos, trucks, buses, and fishing fleet. This year, Iceland opened the fist commercial hydrogen fueling station in the world. Author John Perlin, who wrote the book, “From Space to Earth,” a history of solar electricity, will speak on the second day. Perlin will chronicle the progress of solar cells from their development 50 years ago to the present. His story recounts the sweat, toil, and insights that have enabled humanity to progress toward the realization of the dream of harnessing the almost limitless energy of the sun. According to the organizers, Perlin enjoyed an enthusiastic reception when he delivered a similar presentation recently in Osaka, Japan. There will be 60 workshops over the two days on renewable energy. Topics will include solar, photovoltaics (PV), wind power, government and agency programs, lifestyle and health, the use of renewables in buildings and the urban setting, and alternative fuels and transportation. Over 50 businesses, agencies, and organizations will have displays. There will also be activities for children, which will include the making of solar cookers, which will be restricted to a maximum of 25 participants daily. The Clean Energy Community Foundation and Commonwealth Edison is sponsoring the event that will be hosted by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) and the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) both of which are non-profit organizations. The purpose of the fair is to provide information on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and compatible lifestyles to Illinois residents, to build support for incorporating them into daily life, and to provide opportunities for developing a network of people who are interested in using renewable energy and those who offer products and services. Exhibits featuring renewable energy producers, distributors, and installers will present options for Illinois residents. Admission is US$5 per day for adults, US$3 per day for youth 12 – 16, and free for children under 12 (accompanied by an adult).
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