Nebraska’s First Renewable Energy Fair

Release Date: 



Martin Kleinschmit,, Phone: (402) 254-6893 or Elisha Smith,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007
Hartington, NE – On September 18, 2008 the Center for Rural Affairs will host the first Renewable Energy Fair ever in the state of Nebraska. The Renewable Energy Fair will be held in Hartington, NE at the Cedar County Fairgrounds. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Participants can learn about small and utility-scale wind turbines, see bio-diesel being made on the grounds, hear speakers discuss hybrid and electric cars, learn about USDA programs on energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, and gain the concepts of home-built solar heaters and energy conservation programs and practices. 
"Many people feel like victims in today's high-cost energy world. The goal of this fair is to provide examples of things folks can do today to reduce energy costs and give them some hint of better things to come in the future," said Martin Kleinschmit of the Center for Rural Affairs. "This is not intended to be an in-depth discussion of any renewable energy concept, but rather, a quick exposure to ideas and practices out there. The fair will feature one-hour presentations with an opportunity for one-on-one discussions throughout the day." 
Kleinschmit continued, "Energy drives the economy at the local, state and national level. Who owns the energy can influence the success of the region. The more we control our energy system the more we control our future. Gaining control of our energy bill is not only about new renewable energy systems or exciting new technology. Often the best way to reduce energy costs is conservation. The best energy savings are gathered through the kilowatts and gallons not used. The Iowa Energy Center will be at the fair to show how saving energy can be rewarding and fun at the same time." 
Other topics that will be presented at the Renewable Energy Fair include: climate change discussion, carbon credit program, cutting crop inputs and livestock feed costs, school wind projects, energy safety, and much more.  
"We have the desire to do something about energy costs. Sometimes we just need to see ideas and talk to others before we put these measures into place. The fair is designed to provide that opportunity,” said Kleinschmit.  "It is fitting to hold the Renewable Energy Fair in Hartington. It gives us the opportunity to re-visit the projects featured in the Small Farm Energy Project, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in 1978. To view a summary of that project, visit"

According to Kleinschmit the farmers involved in the Small Energy Project saved up to 17% on their energy bills.  And most savings could be credited to practices added or behavior changes rather than devices they made or purchased, demonstrating that knowledge is as important to technology when it comes to energy savings. The Renewable Energy Fair will provide opportunities to visit with farmers involved in the Small Farm Energy Project.
For more information, contact Martin Kleinschmit at 402-254-6893 or

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