Renewable Energy Conference Attracts Businesses, Government

9 years 1 week 3 days ago Wednesday, March 30 2011 Mar 30, 2011 Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:36:00 PM CDT March 30, 2011 in News
By: Jing Liu

COLUMBIA - People from across the nation got together Wednesday in MU's Bond Life Sciences Center to discuss renewable energy at the "Advancing Renewable in the Midwest" conference.

The theme of this conference is the economic development of renewable energy.

Topics ranged from attracting renewable energy businesses to biomass energy development.

Andrew Weber, business developer for Iberdrola Renewables company said the conference benefits the renewable energy companies as well as the local communities in Missouri.

"I think it's very positive thing. You know, we have a lot of people come over here. You can kind of gain a little bit more momentum for the industry. It's good opportunity for people to learn," Weber said. "I think that based on the how geographically spread a lot of people come to this conference are and have the ability to take that information they learn here back to the local communities. It's very good for renewable as a whole."

Susan Brown's company Brightergy was one of the exhibitors at the conference.

"I've been to this conference for a number of years, and it becomes larger every year and there're more and more vendors, more and more companies that are starting up into this business," Brown said.

Brown said her company has solar energy projects in the major cities in Missouri, including the Eco Schoolhouse at Grant Elementary School.

Win Colwill is the energy co-chair of Columbia - Boone County League of Women Voters.

"Because it is the future and it's where we need to be looking. And it may have higher short-term costs, but the long-term benefits are so great. And that's why they need to look beyond the immediate plan and think of long term planning." Colwill said.

The speakers at the conference are from the American Wind Energy Industry Association, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and renewable energy companies.

Columbia's Water and Light department, MU's Department of Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources hosted the sixth annual conference.

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