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Articles on Workshops

Viva la Revolucion Energetica

Cuba PVIn two short years, energy-smart Cuba has bolted past every country on the planet. the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has declared Cuba to be the only country on the planet that is approaching sustainable development. Key to this designation is the island’s Revolución Energética, an energy conservation effort launched only two years ago.

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Farming the Sun

Ecuador PVJust south of the equator on the Ecuadorian Pacific Coast, Rio Muchacho Organic Farm stands in the once-dense rain forest as a model of community development and sustainability. In March 2008, SEI took a group of students—nine Americans and three Ecuadorians—to the farm for a five-day workshop on sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and renewable energy.

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Women Who Run with Tools

Woman installing PVIn February 2000, a group ofdedicated and enthusiastic women descended on Tucson, Arizona to learn how to incorporate solar energy into their lives. Though it hasn’t always been this way, women wielding power tools and installing solar electric equipment is becoming more common.

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Get Your RE Start

Solar trainingThe renewable energy (RE) industry is growing rapidly, and a wide variety of employment opportunities—from system design and installation to hardware development and engineering—are opening up on a regular basis. The first step in finding a career in RE is to assess what skills you have, what skills you’d like to learn, and what type of position would be most satisfying. But no matter what your chosen career path, a solid foundation in RE system design, component specification, and installation basics will make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

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Revolutionary Education - PV Powered

Cuba school with PVTravel around rural Latin America and you’re sure to see schools without basic educational tools, let alone electricity. Not in Cuba. More than 34,000 children in rural areas of this small Caribbean island are reading, writing, and watching educational videos using the power of the sun.

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Teaching Cuba's Energy Revolution

A two-decade fuel shortage turned Cuba into a laboratory for energy conservation. Education plays a key role in helping the economy function.

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Green Building - Choosing Ecological Materials

Guevara-Stone straw bale homeThe seemly simple act of building a home can have a multitudeof impacts, such as resource depletion, energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation.  So when the Guevara-Stones decided to build their dream home, they wanted to limit their contributions to these problems by making it as energy and resource efficient as they could, while still sticking to their budget.  The bottom line? With careful attention to the details and a little bit of research, they built a high-performance, beautiful, and efficient home that will consume a fraction of the energy and resources used by the average American home.

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Gaviotas: Building a Sustainable Community

Nearly 40 years ago, Paolo Lugari, a young, idealistic development specialist, united a group of scientists, artisans, street kids, and local Guahibo Indians with the common cause of building an eco-village in the bleak eastern plains of Colombia, some 300 miles east of Bogota, the country’s capital. His rationale: “If humanity is to survive, we must move out of the cities, and learn to live sustainably in areas where people have not tried to survive before.” Through trial and error, Lugari and this remarkable group succeeded in designing sustainable technologies for the tropical climate, and transformed 20,000 acres of once-barren land into a regenerated rain forest. Today, the village of Gaviotas is home to 200 people and revered by the United Nations as a model of sustainable development.

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