The Kevin Costner movie, ‘Field of Dreams’ flashes up in my mind as we begin to organize our event with Martha, the manager of our local Chamber of Commerce. My chest tightens as we discuss scope and venue, speakers and collaborators. That familiar sense of mild anxiety and self-doubt creeps in between thoughts as Martha expertly navigates the challenges and anticipated outcomes of the event.
But will people show up?
“If you build it, they will come” echoes somewhere among the worrying thoughts, and with Martha’s steady hand at the helm, we roll out the Sustainable Energy Expo event in Woodstock to a record crowd favored by outstanding speakers and passionate sustainable energy expert partners.
We may have finally arrived.
For years we have proclaimed conservation and renewable energy and electric mobility to a seemingly ambivalent public. Boring! Expensive! Not practical! they would reply (and until recently, often with some accuracy).
The Sustainable Energy Expo event this time around had a completely different ‘feel’ about it. Our partners who graciously volunteered their time to staff the Stations commented on the solid and thoughtful questions posed by the public, who in turn praised the speakers for their professionalism and knowledge.
Our Sustainable Energy Expo provided the public with an opportunity to view many of the components that make up a Smart Grid. The technologies were defined by energy theme ‘Stations’ and staffed by professionals from many different backgrounds. Participants were provided with a technology form describing a brief overview of the technology.
So what changed?
Advancements in technology, cost and climate change are three of the reported drivers and our guest speaker, Dr. Jose Etcheverry provided an eloquent and passionate appeal during his keynote speech.
Dr. Jose Etcheverry is a global leader on climate change mitigation and renewable energy policy, and to an engaged audience he shared his vision of a sustainable energy future.
With a Go 100% Renewable energy message, Dr. Etcheverry took us on a trip around the world to other communities who have a goal of generating all of their electrical and other energy needs from renewable energy resources. This takes planning and leadership, as noted in his interview.
We are thrilled to have been a part of this encouraging event and humbled by the interest and passion for a more sustainable energy world that the public, speakers and energy partners shared in common.
This is the first of several Sustainable Energy Expo events that will be planned around the County of Oxford this year. The next event will be hosted at an outdoor venue with plenty of parking and hopefully several EV charging stations.
To all of you EV drivers and those curious about electric vehicles, please keep an eye on http://www.sustainableenergyexpo.com for an announcement of the next Sustainable Energy Expo and be our guest at the event. You won’t be disappointed!