About Solar and Wind Living
We envision a United States with a strong economy that runs on renewable energy, free of the environmental and political drawbacks of fossil fuels
Renewable energy creates jobs while increasing the energy supply. It’s a win-win solution that contributes to lower electricity cost and healthier environment for American families, communities and businesses.
Three years ago we set out to create the Solar and Wind Expo to help promote and grow the renewable energy industry by bringing the business community together with the consumer. The five Solar and Wind Expos we have produced – in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts – have brought thousands of consumers’ information about how to save money while doing good for the environment via renewable energy and conservation. Our exhibitors have connected with thousands of interested and curious consumers resulting in hundreds of installations all over the northeast. We have sponsored seminars and classes for consumers and certification courses for those interested in entering this growing field. Most recently we expanded our efforts to create an online community for consumers and providers, with a wealth of information and opinion about the industry and its many facets. Our company, renamed Solar and Wind Living, now encompasses the in-person connection of the Expos and the on-line connection of the web.
Homeowners, contractors, developers and utility providers have the opportunity to reduce their energy costs and consumption by implementing simple efficiency solutions – such as replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescents – to more complex renewable energy solutions – such as solar photovoltaic systems, geothermal heat-pumps or wind turbines. Solar and Wind Living provides consumers with the information they need to plan and make these investments.
The Solar and Wind Expos are manageable events – we favor quality over quantity. Because we focus primarily on renewable energy our attendees are self-selected – they arrive already interested in making investments in renewable energy. This keeps our sponsors and exhibitors coming back to subsequent Expos.
We have had over 10,000 customers come through our doors and our list of Alumni included: Astrum Solar, Maryland Clean Energy Center, Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland Energy Administration, Groun Loop, Atech Energy, ATR, Solar City, Standard Solar, American Design & Build, AARP, Aurora Energy, BGE Home, Bith Group, Capital Remodeling, Chesapeake Passive House, Dixie Homecrafters, Energy Dynamics, Green Brilliance, Greenspring Energy, Love’s Heating, Renewable Energy Corporation, Segzone, Maryland Public Television, Solgenics, Ultra Solar & Wind, Summit Insulation, Solar LED Innovations, NoPowerNoProblem, VentureSum, Viridian,Windtronics, Blue Selenium, Bikes go Green, Endless Mountains, Independent Power Systems, Next Step Living, Conservation Solutions, Energy Systems & Installation, National Public Radio, Supreme Air, Harbor Energy Consultants, Solar Energy World, Solar Goose, BGE Home, Earth and Air Technologies and many more.
In May of 2012 we will open the third Solar and Wind Expo in Maryland. We are building on the momentum of the 2011 Expo that hosted Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s Renewable Energy Summit and brought hundreds of policy makers in to discuss important issues and meet with exhibitors and consumers.
Governor O’Malley chose the Expo as the venue for his summit because he recognized the unique nature of the Expo – its exclusive focus on renewable energy. Each Expo has proven to be the place to learn how to migrate and upgrade old systems to cleaner, more Earth friendly and renewable energy systems, thus helping to make green a reality.
The information Solar and Wind Living provides and the connections we make in-person and on-line promote the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs. Through these programs Marylanders can save money, year after year, and further the the state’s goal of reducing power consumption statewide 15 percent by 2015.
In addition to hosting the Governor’s Renewable Energy Summit, The Solar and Wind Expo Maryland has presented seminars and talks by experts in the renewable energy field including:
Bob Dixon, mayor of Greensburg, Kansas, whose citizens chose to rebuild their tornado-ravaged community as the model green town of the future. He shared the issues his community faced in keeping true to this mission.
Chelsea Sexton, electric vehicle expert who was featured on "Who Killed The Electric Car", discussed the future of electric vehicles.
Paul Scott, one of the original founders of Plug in America, added to the discussion of electric vehicles.
In 2011 we held our first Expo in Massachusetts because that state has launched the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the country. Since 2007, solar photovoltaic systems in Massachusetts have increased 20-fold. Jobs in solar manufacturing, installation, and services have nearly tripled and installed wind energy has increased 10-fold. This added an estimated savings of over $6 billion for residential, municipal, industrial and commercial customers and 4,500 jobs sustained or created.
The Solar and Wind Expo will return to Massachusetts in August 2012 to help that state’s consumers connect with alternative energy companies and become educated on related issues such as state tax incentive programs.
The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 requires the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to establish a statewide limit on greenhouse gas emissions of between 10 percent and 25 percent below 1990 levels for 2020 — on the way toward an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 — along with a plan to achieve the 2020 target. Secretary Ian A. Bowles has set that 2020 limit at 25 percent — and this Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 contains the measures necessary to meet the limit.
Massachusetts has a long history as a renewable energy friendly state. The Solar Renewable Energy Credit market is stable in a way that is unique in the United States. There are also abundant federal, state and local incentives to encourage consumers to invest in renewable energy.
In 2011 The Solar and Wind Expo provided a venue for consumers and businesses to connect but state incentives have not kept pace with demand. Over the past year Pennsylvania has been a tough spot for the solar industry. Solar power benefited greatly from the enacting of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program in 2008, which created a $100 million fund for residential consumers and business owners to tap into to help offset the cost of going solar.
This created a boom in solar installations, but now the fund is all but depleted and state has outpaced its renewable portfolio standard carve out for solar, meaning that the value of SRECs (the certificates or credits generated based on kilowatts of solar installed and then sold back into the grid) in Pennsylvania has tumbled from over $300 to less than $50 over the last year.
This crash of SREC prices and disappearance of subsidies is compounded by a less than proactive approach from the Governor’s Office in Harrisburg. Governor Corbett has focused almost all energy policy on the exploitation of natural gas from Marcellus Shale. Additionally he has banned state agencies from investing in infrastructure upgrades or repairs that involve the use of renewable technologies.
Many companies are diversifying or relocating, opening offices in more renewable energy friendly states like New Jersey or Massachusetts or simply leaving the state altogether. The state’s share of solar jobs has gone from near 7000 to under 5000 in the course of one year.
The one ray of sunshine in this landscape is coming from a new proposed law entitled “Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act” (HB 1580) sponsored and promoted by State Representative Chris Ross (R – Chester County). The bill would increase the solar carve-out in the Pennsylvania’s RPS to .5% and also close the state’s borders to purchases of SRECs from outside Pennsylvania.
State Representative Chris Ross, gave the Expo and its attendees a look at the new legislation aimed at propping up the solar industry.
· Bob Dixon, mayor of Greensburg, Kansas, whose citizens chose to rebuild their tornado-ravaged community as the model green town of the future. He shared the issues his community faced in keeping true to this mission.
The event welcomed over 2000 interested consumers and ran over three days with exhibitors and attendees commenting that they hoped the show would return. The Expo is working on returning to the Philadelphia-New Jersey area in 2013.
Why Now is the Time and Why Solar and Wind Living is the Vehicle
Americans everywhere are assessing how to better use energy at home, at work, and on the road. When one person gets serious about energy use, reducing waste and lowering the carbon footprint, it's a start; when two people do, it's a movement; when a nation gets serious, it's a revolution. Solar and Wind Living is a part of that revolution.
Encouraging the deployment and use of innovative environmental and advanced energy technologies, including renewable energy is our mission.
Efficiency - We use energy at home, at work, and on the road. Now is the time to get serious about our energy use in order to reduce waste, manage costs, grow our economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In effect, efficiency is the first step to energy independence.
Solar - The sun's rays supply an abundant amount of energy that can be converted into electricity or heat. It has many benefits: it's free and does not add to global greenhouse emissions, acid rain, or smog.
Wind - Wind energy is fueled by an infinitely renewable resource - moving air. It can be generated locally and does not release carbon dioxide or other emissions. It contributes to our energy security and positively affects economic development.
Geothermal - While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes—from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—a few feet below the Earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature, usually around 53F degrees. Like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer thus decreasing the load on heating and cooling systems and saving energy.
Electric Vehicles - Vehicles that use alternative fuels help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and increase our energy security.
Biomass - Biomass includes a variety of versatile renewable fuel sources derived from organic sources such as plants, gases produced in landfills, solid waste, and alcohol fuels.
Solar and Wind Living is dedicated to increasing your knowledge of all these energy sources and more. Now is the time to make green a reality. Learn how.