Renewable Energy Leaders to Engage with Upper Valley Community

Published: April 22nd, 2013

Leaders in Europe’s new energy economy will discuss their successes and how they can be applied to the Upper Valley region at a public forum this Wednesday, April 24.

wind turbines next to a European villageDr. Andreas Wieg and Dirk Vansintjan, two leaders in Europe’s community-based transition to renewable energy, will visit the Upper Valley as part of their Vermont, New Hampshire, and Ontario week-long tour starting April 22, 2013. During their time here, they will engage with local colleges and schools, businesses, and organizations and explore how renewable energy projects can spur local business, strengthen the
economy, and benefit the environment.

In Germany, much of the push towards a clean energy transition comes from a bottom-up approach at the local level. A revolution is literally underway where towns and villages are designing community-owned cooperatives for producing and distributing renewable energy. People are increasingly realizing the potential of these initiatives for economic development in the form of well-paying jobs, tax revenues, and strengthened community ties.

While in the Upper Valley, the delegation will visit local energy organizers, renewable energy businesses, educators and the general public to explore how electric cooperatives, municipalities, the agricultural community, policy makers, and the private sector can work together to advance biomass, wind and solar projects.

A public forum is scheduled for April 24 at 7:00 PM at the Cook Auditorium, Dartmouth College. All interested community members are encouraged to attend.

The forum is organized by the Donella Meadows Institute, the Dartmouth Energy Collaborative, Sustainable Energy
Resource Group, Sierra Club of the Upper Valley, and Vital Communities.

Dirk Vansintjan is the manager of Ecopower, a rural electric cooperative in Belgium and is co-founder of REScoop.be, the Belgian federation for renewable energy cooperatives.

Dr. Andreas Wieg has an MBA and PhD in Economics from the Philipps-University Marburg and is the manager of the “New Cooperatives Working Group” of the German cooperative associations based in Berlin.

The delegation’s visit is sponsored by funding from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Information about the “German Energy Transition” to renewable energy can be found at: www.energytransition.de

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