Each year the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair transforms rural central Wisconsin into the global hot spot for renewable energy education. The Energy Fair brings over 20,000 people from nearly every state in the U.S. and several countries around the world to learn, connect with others, and ready them for action at home. The Fair is the nation's longest running energy education event of its kind and last weekend, Frances joined the 23rd annual event in Custer, WI. In a packed tent, she delivered a keynote presentation to an overflowing crowd of renewable energy activists, and came away deeply inspired by the dynamic group of engaged citizens.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 by a small group in central Wisconsin in response to an article in Home Power Magazine. The editor, Richard Perez, suggested the country needed more energy fairs to educate the public about the benefits of renewable energy and provide a networking opportunity for those already involved in the field. In that article, Perez wrote:
“After years of attending energy conferences populated by people who go home to public utility power, I think it's time for a change. Those of us living on our own power need to get together. During the last two years we have actually received over 20,000 letters from renewable energy producers and would be producers. We have seen, first hand, the enormous amounts of interest, energy and information within this group. We need to get together face to face, as many of us as possible in the same place and at the same time.”
Inspired by Perez, the first Energy Fair was held at the Amherst, WI fairgrounds in 1990, and soon after the MREA was formed with a mission to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.
This year’s fair boasted a weekend packed with inventive and inspiring activities, including more than 275 exhibitions of sustainable living and clean energy products, over 200 solar, wind, green building, and sustainability workshops, and a clean energy car show.
Check out this article and slideshow on the event, courtesy of The Marshfield News Herald.