Category Archives: 2010

The Winds of Change: Feed-in-Tariffs Driving Alternative Energy Development

Paul Gipe, Feed-In-Tariff and Wind Energy Expert

Presentation Synopsis

Ontario, Canada, the hometown province of Paul Gipe, has committed to shutting its 6434 MW of coal plants by 2014, and as of February 2010, proponents of renewable energy projects have submitted 956 Feed-In-Tariff contract applications totaling more than 9,625 MW.   As transmission and distribution networks are improved and as the remaining provincial coal plants are retired, a substantial number of these bids will be able to come on-line.  Fast and substantial renewable energy development is happening in “sunny Ontario.”

Mr. Gipe will speak to the potential of Feed-In-Tariffs and how they help to drive robust renewable energy development.  Under a feed-in tariff, an obligation is imposed on regional or national electric grid utilities to buy renewable electricity (such as solar power, wind power, wave and tidal power, biomass, hydropower and geothermal power), from all eligible participants.

Speaker Bio:

Paul Gipe, feed-In-tariff and wind energy expert, has worked with renewable energy since 1976. He has authored many books and magazines and has lectured widely on wind energy and alternative energy development. Through his writing and public speaking, Gipe has sought to popularize the use of wind energy worldwide. For his efforts, Gipe has received numerous awards.
Gipe’s interest in wind energy grew out of his wish to limit the environmental effects of conventional energy sources, particularly those of coal and nuclear power. He contributed to the seven-year struggle for passage of the National Surface Mining Act, which regulates the strip mining of coal in the United States. As part of that effort, Gipe co-authored Surface Mining, Energy, and the Environment.

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Clean Energy Action Feed-In-Tariffs

Bringing Solar Power to Africa and the Navajo Nation

Doug Vilsack, Executive Director, Elephant Energy

Presentation Synopsis

Elephant Energy, based in Denver, CO, delivers solar powered lighting to Namibia, Africa and to the Navajo Nation through an innovative model of entrepreneurial development and energy outreach. While more than seventy percent of Namibia’s urban population has access to the electric grid, only fifteen percent of rural households are connected – the resources to construct an effective system of transmission to meet the needs of the rural population are not in place and, therefore, the majority of homes go without lighting. Rural Namibians must either find alternatives to grid-based power or continue to live without electricity for the foreseeable future.

The Navajo Nation, located primarily in Northeastern Arizona, faces similar electricity challenges. Despite its location within the United States, about 38 percent of households in the Navajo Nation lack electricity, and over 50 percent of Navajo live below the poverty line. Despite requests for modern, grid-based power, the remote location of many Navajo households makes electricity extremely expensive, forcing many people to go without electricity or lighting.

Elephant Energy is delivering lighting solutions to Africa and the Navajo Nation through appropriate sustainable energy technologies (ASET’s), such as solar powered lights and efficient cook stoves, and small-scale renewable energy developments.

Speaker Bio

Doug Vilsack is the founder and Executive Director of Elephant Energy.  He is a lawyer from Colorado, working with the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver in the practice areas of environmental law, Indian law, and renewable and alternative energy law.  Doug focused on environmental and energy-related issues while attending the University Of Colorado School Of Law and continues to work with students at the University on a variety of energy-related projects.  Doug first traveled to Namibia in 2005 to work for the World Wildlife Fund and has returned on numerous occasions to continue his work with community-based conservation organizations.  Prior to his work in Namibia, Doug attended Colorado College and founded the Paddle for the Presidency, a non-profit venture that organized an expedition that canoed the entire length of the Mississippi River and registered over 2000 young voters during the 2004 Presidential election.

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Elephant Energy

Forming a Municipal Utility: The City of Winter Park, Florida Experience

Randy Knight, City Manager, Winter Park, FL

Speaker Bio

Randy Knight was the lead staff member in the efforts by the City of Winter Park, Florida to municipalize beginning in 2000. Despite opposition from the local utility (Progress Energy Florida), the municipalization effort passed with 69% of the vote in September 2003. After issuing Requests for Proposala (RFP’s) for power supply and management of the distribution system, the City of Winter Park began supplying community-owned power on June 1, 2005. Since becoming a municipal utility, significant strides have been made in reliability improvements including placing over 7 miles of mainline feeders underground and completing 5 neighborhood undergrounding projects.

Presentation Video

Randy Knight – Winter Park, FL

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City of Winter Park

Accelerated Green Power Development for Municipalities

Paul Fenn, Utility Reform Expert of San Francisco-based Local Power, Inc.

Speaker Bio

Paul Fenn of Local Power Inc. (LPI) is a San Francisco-based expert advocate of major new local government-based energy laws and regulations at the state level in several major U.S. energy markets, including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio. In business since 1995, Local Power has put together, and is in charge of, some of the world’s largest green power relocalization development projects, including the City and County of San Francisco. Analyzing detailed utility demand data and other government infrastructure and land use data, LPI has accumulated the modeling and analysis capacity to crack the code on green power, enabling a dramatic, accelerated, scaled county-wide switchover to a whole new kind of power.

In 2010, LPI formed the official Political Action Committee in California to oppose and ultimately defeat Proposition 16, drafted and promoted at $46 million by Northern California Energy Corporation Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE Corp) primarily to stop LPI’s Community Choice movement from spreading beyond Marin Countyand San Francisco. Today, over a million Americans receive power under the CCA laws that LPI has written and helped bring to fruition.

Presentation Video

Paul Fenn Video

Can Boulder Learn from Marin? Making Renewable Energy a Community Choice

Charles McGlashan, Chairman, Marin Energy Authority

Photo Credit:

Presentation Synopsis

Supervisor Charles McGlashan shares Marin County’s experience solving a challenge also facing Boulder: How can a community can take control of its energy supply? Mr. McGlashan led the Marin County, California effort to adopt Marin Clean Energy. MCE is a joint power authority designed to serve the community’s priorities by providing 25% of consumer energy from renewable sources. While avoiding coal and nuclear power, Marin Clean Energy allows electric consumers to choose non-polluting renewable energy, foster development of local green power generation, and protect homes and businesses from uncertain fuel prices.

Speaker Bio

As a member of the Marin Board of Supervisors since 2004, Charles McGlashan has earned a reputation for innovation and working with all parties to ensure that Marin County remains a spectacular place to live and work. Prior to elected office, Mr. McGlashan worked for twenty-one years in environmental consulting, corporate finance and strategic planning. Recognized by many organizations for his environmental leadership, Supervisor McGlashan holds a BA from Yale and MBA from Stanford, both awarded with honors.

Clean Energy Action honors the passing of Charles McGlashan.  Shortly after California’s victory for Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), Supervisor McGlashan passed away from a heart condition while on a ski trip.  The community of Marin was thunderstruck, as were clean energy advocates throughout the country.

Presentation Video

Charles McGlashan Video

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Marin Energy Authority