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First Day of Class

I think I’m going to enjoy my renewable energy and alternative fuels class. After dealing with administrative stuff, we got a crash course in how electricity is created. For some it was review, but for me it was the first time I’d heard about megawatts and kilowatts since 9th grade chemistry. I was really glad he took the time to go through it for those of us in the class who hadn’t taken an energy course before this.

We ended the day by trying to define ‘renewable energy’. It was surprisingly difficult to put a firm label on it. Does it simply mean a form of energy production/use that doesn’t deplete a resource faster than that resource can regenerate? What timeline should it be judged on, a human lifetime, shorter? Is that view too anthropocentric? Because renewable and sustainable can be synonyms does that mean that sustainable should include environmentally sustainable, or just self-sustaining? Are renewable energy and green energy projects mutually exclusive, or should they be the same thing – keeping in mind some forms of renewable energy are not necessarily environmentally friendly or GHG neutral…

SO many questions! I think I’m beginning to understand that the field of renewable energy is a complicated one with many different layers of interests that don’t always necessarily see eye-to-eye… should be a great “last class” at VLS. This coming weekend will be my last weekend in Vermont, so I’m going to try and pack in a lot of things, including a hike on the Long Trail, and a visit to two more Vermont breweries. I only have 10 more days living in this great state before the big move to D.C. so I want to really enjoy my last ‘real’ weekend here!

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