GCC hosts European renewable energy experts on April 24
Posted on Tuesday April 16th 2013
Greenfield Community College will host a public presentation by two European renewable energy experts on Wednesday, April 24 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in the Sloan Theater on the main campus at 1 College Drive, Greenfield. Dirk Vansintjan, manager of Ecopower in Belgium, and Dr. Andreas Weig, a director at the German Cooperative Federation, will share practical insights on how the low-carbon energy transition can create local and cooperative business opportunities. The presentation is free and open to the public with parking available in lots A-E.
“This is an exciting opportunity to learn about the transition to a renewable energy economy under way in Europe, and to see how their cooperative and local approaches might work here,” said Teresa Jones, Program Coordinator of Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency at GCC.
In Germany, much of the push towards a clean energy transition comes through a bottom-up approach from the local level. A small-town revolution is under way in which towns and villages are striving to become more self-sustained renewable energy communities. People are increasingly realizing the economic benefits of this regional development in the form of well-paying jobs, tax revenues, and strengthened community engagement.
Vantsinjan and Weig are visiting the U.S. and Canada as part of a week-long Race-to-the-Top Tour organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The speaking tour will consist of bilateral meetings, roundtable discussions and workshops with interested stakeholders in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Ontario, Canada. It includes a presentation to the New Hampshire House of Representatives committee on Science, Technology and Energy. One of the themes the two speakers will highlight is the importance of developing cooperation between electric cooperatives, municipalities, policy makers and the private sector.
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 Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Its main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. HBF has a Washington, DC office that provides mission-related expertise particularly in the arena of clean energy. HBF promotes exchanges in their program areas through informational programs, study tours and visitor programs.
The HBF speaking tour is co-sponsored by the GCC Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program and the Green Campus Committee. For more information about the Heinrich Böll Foundation, visit http://www.boell.org/web/index.html. Information about the “German Energy Transition” to renewable energy can be found at: http://energytransition.de/
GCC’s Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program is supported in part by the Massachusetts Community College Workforce Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA), a state-wide $20 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment & Training Administration (TAACT). Grant agreement #TC-22505-11-60-A-25.