Harvesting renewable energy to benefit sustainable community development

Community leaders and property owners from across Colorado and neighboring states will join representatives from universities, state and federal agencies, and private businesses as they engage in renewable energy and sustainable economic development discussions at the 2014 Pagosa Verde Symposium, August 21, 2014.

The discussions will encompass all forms of renewable resources as economic drivers. Heat and energy from any source can drive economic development. The symposium theme is not limited to geothermal applications. However, geothermal development in Colorado has momentum and its unique characteristics will provide a starting point for a broader discussion of renewables converted to economic opportunity.

Renewable energy investment encourages job creation through residential heating, local low-temp power generation, and agricultural and manufacturing opportunities. New state supported financial mechanisms in Colorado support renewable energy projects. This enables community investment in renewable projects and infrastructure with minimal impact on strained rural community budgets.

Presentations will range from global to local perspectives on direct-use and distributed power production including cascaded use of geothermal heat and the integration of renewable energy resources to maximize local potential.

Renewable and sustainable economic transitions rely on consideration of local, cultural, and political positions from the grass-roots up through policy and regulatory landscapes. Engaging the local population, academia and political leadership is vital.

Commercial vendors to the renewable energy market recognize the potential of community-scale distributed energy and direct-use geothermal development. Innovation ranging from small and efficient binary power systems to drilling equipment designed to reduce expense in direct-use systems will be discussed by industry leaders.

Renewable energy ascendency is a career consideration for STEM students. Leaders in the academic community are modifying curriculum to balance the rigor of engineering and science with sociological and political skills necessary to successful real-world outcomes. This academic shift towards accommodation of both student career desires and market trends drives innovative programs in greenhouse agriculture, aquaponics, aquaculture, and the STEM disciplines.

For more, visit Pagosa Verde

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