Renewable Energy Education
for a Sustainable Future

  Home | Workshops | Membership | Contact   SEI Newsletter, Issue 73 - May 2009  
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SEI Upcoming workshops
RE for Educators workshop
Are you a teacher who wants to incorporate renewables into your curriculum? Or do you want to start renewable energy projects in the developing world? Next month SEI has some exciting workshops that still have a few spaces left.

The Renewable Energy for the Developing World workshop will explore different applications for renewable energy technologies in developing countries and cover how to successfully accomplish sustainable development projects. Educators attending Renewable Energy for Educators will learn about the impacts that our energy use has on the planet and how to best teach youth about solutions: energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies.

Border Green Energy Team Wins Energy Globe Award
BWB eco-house
SEI alum and associate Salinee Tavaranan represented BGET at the World Energy Globe Awards to receive multiple awards for solar medical clinic projects inside Burma. In addition to receiving the national award for Myanmar, BGET was awarded the international award in the “Fire” category and the overall Grand Prize decided by the audience at the ceremony in Prague, Czech Republic.

The Energy Globe Awards competition highlights successful sustainable projects from around the world. BGET designs simple, rugged, and reliable solar energy systems and empowers Burmese medics through intensive hands-on training to install, operate, and maintain these systems once in site. In addition, BGET has provided solar systems to power larger facilities to train medics and emergency relief workers. Over 200,000 internally displaced people now have access to clinics powered by solar electricity; allowing medics to perform nighttime surgeries and childbirth deliveries, charge batteries for communication, refrigerate vaccines, and power microscopes to detect and treat malaria.  

BGET relied much on technical guidance and fundraising efforts of SEI Associate Walt Ratterman of SunEnergy Power International, as well as fundraising by Green Empowerment for these projects.  
BLM to Invest Recovery Act Funds on Renewable Energy Permitting
Jasmine Brown
photo: Getty Images
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will invest $41 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in reducing the backlog of pending applications for wind and solar power projects on BLM-managed land. The investment is part of a $305 million investment announced by the Interior Department on May 1.

The $41 million will also support the regional planning and siting of future wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy projects, and the transmission lines needed to deliver that renewable energy to market. Coordinating the development and transmission of renewable energy on a regional scale will accelerate the approval of projects and the creation of jobs associated with the projects. The BLM is also investing $143 million to upgrade its facilities throughout the United States, and a portion of that funding will go toward energy efficiency improvements. For more information visit the US DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website.
US Government Furthers Its Commitment To Invest in Renewable Energy R&D
SEI workshop
Last week President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a sweeping announcement about federal investment in research and development and science education.

ARPA-E will fund energy technology projects that translate scientific discoveries and cutting-edge inventions into technological innovations. The program should also accelerate technological advances in high-risk areas that industry is not likely to pursue independently.

ARPA-E will not fund improvements to existing technologies; this research will continue to be supported through existing DOE programs, such as those of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ARPA-E's mission will be to develop new energy technologies that offer significant progress toward reducing imported energy; reducing energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and improving energy efficiency.

Read the entire article on
Exciting Opportunities
SEI workshop
Lopez Common Ground
PV Internship on Lopez Island
Lopez Common Ground, a zero-net energy affordable housing project on Lopez Island, Washington is looking for interns to help install a 36 kW solar array. Interns will receive $100 per week to cover food. Locals will provide opportunities for tenting or rustic lodging. Interns must commit to stay for four weeks starting 25 May. Unpaid volunteer opportunities are also available for people willing to work at least 3 days. For more information contact

PV Volunteers in Ghana
The Brighter Day Foundation is looking for volunteers to help install PV systems on clinics and schools in rural areas of Ghana, West Africa.  Volunteers are needed starting in June for three to four weeks.  Volunteers will need to pay travel expenses, food, and $150 for lodging and administration costs. Contact Adams Jamal Deen for more information.

AB 811 Conference
New California programs are overcoming the first-cost challenge of solar! City or county-sponsored AB 811 programs give residents the opportunity to borrow money to install solar, then pay it back on their property tax bill, thus bypassing typical credit considerations. Longtime SEI friend EcoMotion is hosting a one-day, intensive conference on the legal, financial and administrative issues associated with designing an AB 811 –or “contractual assessment” -- program in Palm Desert on June 12. For more details and price, visit

Info on Straw Bale construction
The Last Straw, the 40-page international journal of strawbale and natural building published since 1993, is the most comprehensive source of information about all aspects of design and construction, techniques and tips, project pages, resources and more. All issues are available in print and PDF formats. Call the TLS office at 402.483.5135
Your Generosity Ensures our Success!
SEI workshop
SEI would like to welcome 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!
Help create a sustainable future. Please forward this newsletter to your friends.

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