SEI Newsletter
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Issue 82 - February 2010
Solar Energy International has a strong community presence on social networks. Please consider joining these SEI groups:
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YouTube: Solar Energy International YouTube Channel

Upcoming SEI Workshops

If you're considering registering for one of SEI's PV or solar hot water workshops this year, a limited amount of space is still available in these workshops:

And many more upcoming workshops in California and Washington!

Also don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn about renewable energy in Cuba!

Help for Haiti
photo courtesy Permaculture Haiti
Many people have been writing asking what they can do with their renewable energy skills to help in Haiti. Haiti will need a lot of help in the rebuilding process, and there are many organizations looking for skilled people to lend their expertise. Here are just a few that have contacted SEI:

Natural Building Network is helping to coordinate skilled natural builders with relief organizations such as Builders Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders, Groundswell International, Permaculture Haiti and the Permaculture Relief Corps. Contact

Colorado Haiti Project is looking for structural engineers.

There is also a one-day workshop on Rebuilding Sustainable Communities in Haiti after the January 12 Earthquake being held on April 9, 2010 in Boston. Contact The Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD)

Can Renewables Really Power our Cities?
Over the course of history, the city has evolved from an "agropolis" based on surrounding resources to a "petropolis" reliant on far-away food and fossil fuels. Now, with those environmentally-dangerous energy needs becoming harder to meet, can we make another transition to the "ecopolis?"

Listen the podcast to learn about the economic and logistical challenges in powering our cities with renewable energies.

Obama Endorses Nuclear Energy
After President Obama's major endorsement of nuclear energy at his State of the Union last week, his administration has rolled out a set of energy projects that heavily supports the nuclear industry. The recent Senate climate and energy bill will include $38 billion federal loan guarantees on top of the $54 million in nuclear loans already promised by the Department of Energy. reports on how nuclear energy promises to be a large part of our renewable future.

However, the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research have published a book called Carbon Free and Nuclear Free which is a roadmap of how we can achieve a carbon-free and nuclear-free U.S. energy system by 2050 (download the book here - 4.4 Mb). You can also sign on to their statement if you agree with their principles.

California Adopts Nation's First Statewide Green Building Standard
Last month the California Building Standards Commission unanimously adopted the first-in-the-nation mandatory Green Building Standards Code, called CALGreen. The program, which takes effect on January 1, 2011, will require all new buildings in the state to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the action lays the foundation for the move to greener buildings constructed with environmentally advanced building practices that reduce energy use, decrease waste, and conserve resources.

The California Air Resources Board estimates that the mandatory provisions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020. See the governor's press release and the California Building Standards Commission web site.

Solar Pathfinder Inventor Passes Away
Bernie Haines
SEI is sad to announce the passing away of Bernie Haines, the inventor of the Solar Pathfinder, a popular solar site analysis tool. Bernie lived down the road from SEI for many years in Glenwood Springs, CO, and had often come to SEI's workshops to describe his solar tool that accurately measures the shading of any site. Bernie continued inventing and tinkering in his shop until he lost his eyesight to macular degeneration in 2005. His genious greatly enhanced the solar industry.

Upcoming Events
Gaviotas stamp
Visit Gaviotas, Colombia
March 2010

So far, few outsiders have managed to visit this special place. But public order is making a comeback in the region, making it possible for the village to invite 30 people for a fully hosted day visit. In addition, Gaviotas founder Paolo Lugari is inviting visitors to a second day of events in and around the Gaviotas office in Bogotá.

Solar 2010 - ASES National Solar Conference
May 17 - 22, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ

America’s leading conference on the emerging trends, technology, and opportunities shaping the new energy economy.

6th Annual Small Wind Conference
June 15 - 16, 2010 - Stevens Point, WI

The premier event for small wind-electric system designers and installers, and for those involved in sales, specification, management, funding, and permitting of small wind systems.

Your Generosity Ensures our Success!
SEI welcomes new members! As a membership-based non-profit, SEI's members are the heart of our organization and allow us to continue our educational programs. SEI staff are passionate about the work we do and membership dues help sustain our renewable energy endeavors.

Please join us! Membership benefits include (depending on membership level) discounts on workshops and a one year subscription to either Home Power or E magazine.

Click here for details on how to become an SEI member.

To all SEI members...SEI sends thanks!
In This Issue

Upcoming SEI Workshops

Help for Haiti

Can Renewables Really Power Our Cities?

Obama Endorses Nuclear Energy

California Adopts Nation's First Statewide Green Building Standard

Solar Pathfinder Inventor Passes Away

Upcoming Events

Your Generosity Ensures our Success!

Featured Workshop
Solar Hot Water
March 15 - 19, Fontana (SunEarth Inc.), CA

Join SEI for their new and improved Solar Hot Water workshop, including hands-on labs for five different system types. Taught by expert instructors Chuck Marken, Home Power and Solar Pro Thermal Editor, and Tim Dawson.

Hands-On Workshops

View all hands-on workshops >

Solar Electric Fundamentals & Grid Direct Design
February 22 - 27, Tucson, AZ
March 15 - 19, Sacramento, CA

Solar Hot Water
March 15 - 19, Fontana, CA
April 5 - 9, Guemes Island, WA

Online Courses

View all Online Courses >

Please register early. These courses will fill.

Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design
March 15 - April 18, Online

Grid Direct PV Systems and Code Criteria
March 15 - April 25, Online

International Workshops

Sign up early to reserve your seat.

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in Cuba
April 2 - 11, 2010 CUBA

Browse Workshops
International - Rural Development

Micro-Hydro Power

Renewable Energy for Educators

Solar Electricity (Photovoltaics)

Solar Thermal

Sustainable Building

Sustainable Transportation

Wind Power

Women's Workshops

SEI welcomes new business members:

Earthen Elements International, LLC · Hotchkiss, CO

Hayward Electric Company · Hayward, CA

Progressive Solar Energy Systems · Harrisonburg, VA

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