Booster

Curious about solar power? New group here to help

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Clintonville in Transition would like to help residents make the move to a more environmentally friendly form of energy.

The local group, part of a worldwide movement looking to prepare for the demise of dependence on fossil fuels, will put on a program called "Solar Options for the Community: Clintonville and Beyond" from 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 22 in the meeting room of the Whetstone branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

There is no charge to attend and advance registration is not required.

People have lots of questions about the viability of solar power for their homes, said Mary Jane Quick of Clintonville in Transition. They want to know if it makes economic sense, if there's too much shade around, what happens on cloudy days.

"I would hope to get that answered," Quick said.

In addition to exploring the validity of solar power for individual homes, the gathering will include discussion about the possibility of options for creating solar co-ops in the community.

The event will connect residents who are interested in exploring the idea of a Clintonville or community energy co-op, according to a press release.

The speakers July 22 are Greg Raffio, point engineer for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design projects for Clintonville-based Go Sustainable Energy; and David Dwyer, owner of American Renewable Energy in the Chicago area with his wife and partner, Dr. Toni Bark.

Go Sustainable Energy "envisions a creative society with sustainable rates of natural resource consumption and zero pollution," the website of the organization with offices on North High Street states.

"In such a society, energy would not be obtained from the combustion of fossil fuels, but provided by a portfolio of renewable energy technologies combined with ultra-efficient industrial processes and buildings. Material goods would be constructed within fast-cycling closed resource loops. Today's waste would be tomorrow's raw materials.

What would become the worldwide Transition Movement was started in early 2005 at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland by educator Rob Hopkins and his students.

Several Clintonville residents attended a local Transition U.S. training event sponsored by the nonprofit organization Simply Living and the Ohio State University College of Public Health.

Transition Clintonville has been in "learning mode" since its formation last year, "reviewing the model and the experiences, progress, successes and challenges of Transition towns worldwide," according to the press release. "Group members are talking with Clintonville neighbors, business owners and nonprofit groups learning what is already happening in Clintonville."

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