Clean energy confab blows into B'more
The second annual Clean Energy Summit blows into B'more today, rescheduled and relocated here after the earthquake in August damaged the Bethesda hotel where it was supposed to be held. That 'quake may have been an omen.
There'll be a lot of talk at the Hilton Inner Harbor on Friday about solar and wind power, electric vehicles, biofuels, public policy and more. There's lots happening on those fronts, but plenty of uncertainty and uproar, too.
Construction is under way on Maryland's first utility-scale solar array in Emmitsburg, for instance, and the state was recently recognized as one of the top 10 states in promoting energy efficiency. But in Washington, cost-cutting pressures cast a shadow over funding for clean energy, and there's even talk among at least some Republican lawmakers of cutting off tax incentives for virutally all forms of energy, including solar and wind, nuclear and even at least some breaks for oil and gas.
Despite the federal policy turmoil, more and more businesses and homeowners are looking for clean energy, installing more efficient lighting and solar arrays, among other things. To help stoke that interest, the summit winds up Saturday with a free consumer show.
From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the public has a chance to drive a Chevy Volt and learn more about solar hot water and photovoltaics, geothermal heating and cooling, the new generation of cleaner woodstoves and - perhaps most important of all - how to go about financing the upfront costs that can ultimately lead to lower utility bills.
For more info, go here.
(Wind turbines on Backbone Mountain near Oakland MD. 2010 Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston)